James Walter Karnath, 77, of Fredericksburg passed away Saturday, November 2, 2019 at his home. James grew up in Winona, Minnesota. His military service, education, and career took him to Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio and finally Fredericksburg, Virginia. James' lifelong passion was navigating rivers and lakes and maritime history. He was also an avid woodworker, could fix anything and never met a stranger. May he be at peace on the river. James was dearly loved by his wife, Helen; daughters Lorelei Evans, Kendra Gray (Andy), Paula Poteet; and sons Mark Poteet (Tammy) and Tim Poteet; grandchildren Danny, Ellie, Parker, Peyton, Lindsay and Ethan; brother Richard Karnath (Debbie), sisters Jean Carrillo, Ruth Block (Bill) and Susan Murphy (Randy); many loyal and caring cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 10 at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will be private. Online guestbook is available at covenantfuneralservice.com.