Randy Shaw, former director of training at NAUI, unexpectedly passed away over the weekend at the age of 69, according to the dive training agency.

“It is with a heavy heart that the NAUI Worldwide family announces the passing of Randolph L. Shaw (NAUI 9102) on Saturday, July 22, 2017.”

Shaw spent 22 years working at NAUI Headquarters, retiring this past January as the agency’s Director of Training. He began working at NAUI in 1995 when the agency’s headquarters was still in California, and he was a key enabler in the 1997 move of that headquarters from Montclair, California, to Tampa, Florida.

Although Shaw wore many hats throughout his NAUI career, training had always been a central facet of his responsibilities.

NAUI Executive Director Dallas Edmiston said:

“It was my good fortune and privilege to work with Randy during his last two years at NAUI. His knowledge and love of NAUI provided valuable guidance at a time of transition for the Association. Randy touched many lives in the NAUI family as he traveled around the world representing NAUI, and his influence will be felt for years to come. I will forever be grateful for the time we shared. We became more than just colleagues; we were friends and he will be missed.”

Shaw was certified as a diver in a YMCA course in 1960 (months before NAUI came into being), and after diving avidly for 25 years, he decided to make it a career. In 1985, he became a partner in a dive shop in Edmond, Oklahoma and subsequently graduated as NAUI Instructor 9102.

Longtime NAUI Executive Randy Shaw Has Died
Longtime NAUI Executive Randy Shaw Has Died

His first big project once he began working full-time at NAUI in 1995 involved the move from California. Because He came in with expertise in both business and computers, Shaw was charged with bringing the computer structure up to date and getting NAUI’s financial system in order.

Shaw was later charged with developing and managing NAUI’s international operations. He traveled extensively, negotiated and set up NAUI Service Centers around the globe.

Once NAUI’s international operations were up and running, Shaw returned to fully concentrating on training, but though he was NAUI’s Director of Training, he still had responsibilities for international operations and product development. He continued to wear those hats, even into retirement.

NAUI Operations Manager Kathy Brownlow said:

“Randy has blessed so many lives, both in and out of the dive network. Randy’s legacy will live on through the abundance of students he has mentored and the many fond memories that we all have shared! The diving industry and NAUI are grieving the loss of a patriarch.”

Upon his retirement last January, Shaw told NAUI Sources Editor-in-Chief and longtime friend and colleague Peter Oliver in an interview:

“A great thing is that NAUI has enabled me to do things I could not have bought at any price and to meet some of the finest people I know. It is all luck, my being here and knowing our NAUI members. They are the most gracious, respecting and caring people you can find anywhere. There is no way I could have done what I was able to do without the help and support of NAUI members. Yes, I’ve gotten to dive in exotic places that many cannot, but the real gift is that I have met the kind of people I’ve been associated with all these years. NAUI’s structure lends itself to working like a family. We all work together for NAUI. I thank them for being who they are.”

For those wishing to offer condolences, share memories and photos, or attend services for Shaw, information is being posted on his personal Facebook page.

“A Celebration of Life” for Shaw will be held Friday, July 28, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. EDT at the Hillsboro Memorial Funeral Home, 2323 West Brandon Blvd., Brandon, Florida 33511.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Randy Shaw Fund for Underprivileged Divers. Donations can be made through PayPal, by check, or over the phone via credit card by calling customer service (+1 813-628-6284). Checks should be made out to NAUI Worldwide and mailed to 9030 Camden Field Parkway, Riverview, Florida 33578. Questions can be addressed by customer service at [email protected] or +1 813-628-6284.

John Liang

John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.

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