As many of you already know, underwater adventurer and philanthropist Steve Drogin passed away from a heart attack last week while vacationing in India with his wife, Hiro. Steve was a dear friend of many in the dive industry; we all will miss his booming, fun-loving presence. I have an old bumper sticker Steve gave me when I first met him. It simply reads, "The Ocean is my Playground." The ocean certainly was Steve's playground. His love of the oceans complemented his personality as a facilitator. Steve was well known for his generosity and ability to connect people with similar interests.
A memorial service has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at the Robert Pain Scripps Forum in La Jolla, CA. Full details follow, including a list of donation recipients in lieu of sending flowers (as requested by his family).
UPDATE: I've posted a few photos from the memorial service, which was beautiful.
Steve Drogin Memorial
A Celebration of His Life
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Robert Paine Scripps Forum
8610 Kennel Way
La Jolla, CA
Attire: Hawaiian Casual
Please plan on parking at Birch Aquarium.
Shuttles will be provided for your convenience.
Please see attached map and directions.
With love, Hiro, Michael and Laura
In lieu of flowers or in memorandum of Steve, we have listed three causes Steve believed in and supported.
Stephen B. Drogin Memorial CMBC Fellowship
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Attention: Anne Middleton
9500 Gilman Drive
MC0210, La Jolla, CA 92093-0219
San Diego Hall of Champions
2131 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101
Holualoa Foundation for Arts & Culture
Donkey Mill Art Center
78-6670 Mamalahoa Hwy
Holualoa, HI 96725
Scripps Institution of Oceanography issued an obituary for Steve, which highlights some of his work with Scripps:
STEVE DROGIN - Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the greater diving, underwater photography, and ocean-related communities lost a great friend when Steve Drogin suffered a fatal heart attack on April 14 while traveling in India with his wife, Hiro.
A longtime E.W. Scripps Associates member, Steve was supportive of several Scripps students over the years. After building his own submersible, a three-person yellow submarine, DeepSee, he provided funding to enable three Scripps students Brad Erisman, Talina Konotchick and Brian Zgliczynski to travel to and spend 10+ days around Cocos Island, Costa Rica, exploring the wonders of the sea via scuba diving and descending to even greater depths in his submarine.
In 2005, Steve hosted a Scripps-only viewing of his submarine and reception in the parking lot near Hubbs Hall before DeepSee officially went into operation. In 2007-08, Steve was one of several donors to help fund Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation master's student Laura Escobosa, whose graduate research involved an area near and dear to his heart, the Sea of Cortez. In summer 2008, Steve brought his submarine to the Sea of Cortez, where he, several Scripps scientists and students, and their Mexican counterparts participated in a research expedition that revealed the Gulf of California’s Deep Sea secrets as well as human impacts. The DeepSee allowed the scientists to survey marine life with its 360-degree glass dome at depths as extensive as 475 meters (1,500 feet).
Steve, who had been diving since 1958, and and his wife Hiro participated in Scripps’ first donors’ trip to Palmyra last November. While Steve traveled extensively during his lifetime, he considered the Palmyra trip a real highlight. Steve portrayed his love of the sea in his immense collection of underwater photographs from nudibranchs, the tiniest of sea creatures, to the largest sharks and whales. Some of his photos were donated to and are now displayed in the Scripps Oceanographic Collections. He made numerous presentations about his adventures to diving and underwater photography clubs and to Scripps students and scientists. He also hosted many Scripps scientists and students at his home for special presentations over the years.
Steve is survived by his wife, Hiro; a son, Mike; a daughter, Laura; and several grandchildren. At this time, we do not have any information related to possible memorial services.
Tributes and stories on the web: