Re: Jim Church (some words by Stan Waterman)

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Eagle Ray on January 03, 2003 at 11:09:24:

In Reply to: Jim Church posted by RogerC on December 31, 2002 at 17:33:43:

From the Aggressor website:

Dear Friends,

We are deeply saddened that Jim Church passed away New Year's Eve. Below are some kind thoughts from Stan Waterman that you will enjoy. Jim was so much apart of the Aggressor family and will be missed by so many people.

Jim donated his body to the University of Miami medical department. Afterwards, he will be cremated and wishes that his ashes be spread over Truk Lagoon.

Wishing you happier news for the new year.

Sincerely, Wayne Hasson, Operations Manager


I lit a cigar this morning as I thought about Jim Church and what I would write about him. The cigar is in his honor and evokes a smile as I think about that good man. We both enjoyed a cigar with a quiet talk in the evening on the top decks of the Aggressor live-aboards that we co hosted. Words that shape my memory of Jim are "Gentle….Generous…..Affable….Teacher"

He was a superb teacher. His seminars were masterpieces of carefully designed, learner-friendly short videos that he produced himself. Guests who had signed up for one or two trips every year continued to attend the seminars they already knew by heart. The essence of an effective teacher is his ability to hold the attention of his students and infuse in them a thorough understanding of the subject. Jim had that ability to the highest degree.

His loyal following was legend. He loved jokes. I can hear his delighted laughter when he invariably recycled a joke with a punch line that we already knew. We delighted in his merriment and laughed with him. His patience with photography novices was monumental. I have watched him quietly start all over again with a guest who couldn’t tell the difference between an f-stop and a full back. By giving a full measure of quality instruction, warm companionship and always a measure of laughter to thousands of divers and photographers who’s lives he touched, he at the same time graced the Aggressor Fleet and the annual underwater film festivals with their sponsorship of him.

I was honored to know him and call him friend. "His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him, that Nature might stand up and say to all this world, THIS WAS A MAN"

Stan Waterman

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