Cover photo for Richard E. Batchelder's Obituary
Richard E. Batchelder Profile Photo
1936 Richard 2021

Richard E. Batchelder

June 18, 1936 — August 8, 2021

Richard Edward Batchelder was born on June 18th, 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio to his father, Daniel Shed Batchelder, and his mother, Lucille Parrish. Richard or “Dick”, as he was known by friends and colleagues, spent his early years travelling. His father worked for the railroads and the family moved between worksites along the railroad until they settled in Michigan. From plowing farm fields to cleaning factory floors, Dick’s teen years barely had an idle moment. He enlisted with the National Guard toward the end of high school and eventually transferred into the U.S. Army. Dick dutifully completed his service to the United States, including a tour in Korea. Upon returning to the States, and honorably discharged from the Army, Dick worked various jobs. He settled down in Flint, Michigan where he began nurturing a true passion for SCUBA diving. He worked as a deputy for the Genesse County Sheriff’s Office and helped start the Sheriff’s Dive Team. Dick grew the dive community in Flint and opened Underwater Specialists Dive Shop which he operated late into the 1970’s. He pioneered the growth of the recreational dive industry, helping design course curriculum for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and was one of its founding members. His PADI Dive Instructor number is M-11. He later received an award for being on the original PADI Board of Instructors. Dick was then called to the islands where he helped start and manage numerous dive operations throughout the Caribbean, most notably; Island Divers, LTD at Riding Rock Inn San Salvador, Bahamas and Nick’s Aqua Sports on Grand Cayman. He became an advocate of underwater photography, starting Underwater Photography Schools at some of his dive operations. The number of friends and lasting relationships made during this time are a testament to the affectionate, caring, and humorous personality so many came to know and love. Dick began to focus more on repairing and selling the breathing air compressors used in the dive industry which ultimately led to him opening Compressed Air Supplies & Equipment, Inc. in Dania, Florida in 1989. He operated the business for three decades until his sons started managing the day-to- day operations. Dick attempted to learn the meaning of the word retirement (if you knew him, then you know he never actually found out what it meant). After a beleaguered stay in the hospital, Richard Edward Batchelder passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 8th, 2021, in his home surrounded by his family. Richard is survived by his wife, Susan (nee Bennett) and their children Sean (Leslie), Ryan, and Meghan as well as his children from his first marriage, Daniel, Debra, and David (Robin) and many beloved grandchildren and a great-grandchild. A viewing will be held on Friday, August 13th, 2021, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at the First Christian Church of Wilton Manors, 2725 NE 14th Ave, Wilton Manors, FL 33334, with the service beginning at 3:00 PM and a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for pictures and written memories of Richard. They can be mailed to 1761 SW 32nd Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315 or sent to sean@compressedairsupplies.com.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard E. Batchelder, please visit our flower store.

Guestbook

Visits: 41

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree