"It's not the easiest thing to do and he hadn't operated a steam winch since his sailing days in the late 1940s," said Ernest F. Imhoff, a former Baltimore Sun editor who wrote "Good Shipmates: The Restoration of the Liberty Ship John W. Brown."
Mr. Imhoff said that the many seamen he worked with aboard the Brown were "unaware he had been art director of the News American and was an accomplished artist."
"This past spring Herb told me that when he came home Wednesday nights, he would sketch shipmates working in scenes he had seen that day on the Brown from memory," said Mr. Imhoff. "I was delighted and asked him to bring the sketches to the ship."
It was Mr. Imhoff who suggested that the sketches be considered for Project Liberty Ship, which owns the John W. Brown, for its 2013 fundraising calendar.
"Herb was anxious to see the calendars this fall. The sketches he had showed me included a wide variety — using the steam winch, pulling down a ventilator, lowering the top mast and other normal deck duties," said Mr. Imhoff.
Mr. Walesby had ordered 25 for family and friends.
"Sadly, it was too late for the artist. The calendars were mailed Nov. 14, the same day he died," said Mr. Imhoff. "The family in mourning now has mementos of his final years aboard a ship."
Mr. Walesby and his wife enjoyed gardening, canoeing and sailing.
"We had a wonderful time sailing the Chesapeake Bay area," said his wife.
Plans for services, which will be held at National Presbyterian Church in Washington, are incomplete.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Walesby is survived by his daughter, Dr. Honor Ame Walesby of Timonium; a sister, Mary MacIntire of Rockville; a stepdaughter, Kali Kniel of Wilmington; and many nieces and nephews. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.