Bob Meistrell, Body Glove co-founder and wetsuit pioneer, passed away June 16, 2013 at the age of 84. It was a great honor to have known such a wonderful man who, like many of us, began as underwater "hunter-gatherers," but ended up with a perceptive understanding of marine biology and conservation. Bob was a great supporter of Reef Check and volunteered his boat for our use on several occasions over the years. He also offered a boat trip as an auction item as recently as last year that was a highlight of our live auction.
Bob was kind enough to allow us to interview him at length when we were putting together our corporate videos during the summer of 2011. We were able to get over 1 hour of wonderful history about how he started diving in Missouri back in the late 40's using an inverted bucket in a swimming pool with an air hose attached. And how he first noted neoprene on the back of a car being used as a gasket to keep water out of a tail light. Bob was an amazing guy and along with his brother Bill, kept a wonderful record of photos from California in the early days — the back deck of his boat filled with huge lobster and seabass — that are useful reminders of the wild wild west days.
We hope to continue to celebrate Bob's wonderful life at our Gala in September, in which Bob was to receive our Reef Stewardship Award, marking the 60th anniversary of his co-founding of Body Glove and California's surf culture with his twin brother, Bill, who passed away a few years ago.
Reef Check Foundation
For more about Bob Meistrell, click here.