Dive industry pioneer and entrepreneur Bob Hollis has died at age 85. He passed away peacefully in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 4 Jan surrounded by family.
Over the course of his lifetime, Bob Hollis founded many companies including renowned scuba diving brands, Oceanic, Hollis, and Aeris as well as American Underwater Products, Pelagic Pressure Systems and ROMI Enterprises. For several years he served on DEMA's executive committee.
Bob Hollis's accomplishments were many and varied. Over his extensive career, Bob received many awards, including the NOGI Award, and the DEMA Reaching Out Award, and he was inducted into the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.
Already in the1950s when recreational diving was still in its infancy, twenty-something-year-old Hollis pushed boundaries by building his own equipment to fuel his passion for the underwater. In 1966 he opened a dive shop, the Anchor Shack, in Hayward, California and began developing underwater camera housings, strobes, and dive lamps.
One thing led to another and by 1976, he had developed a complete product line and founded Oceanic which has since become one of the biggest dive equipment brands. The attached obituary describes his extensive business career and a list of the many enterprises he either created or was involved with. In this, he is also described as a family man and this is how I also saw him - as can be seen in the image below which I took on his birthday in 2013 when I was kindly invited to his home in Oakland.
The Bob Hollis I was so fortunate to come to know was a kind and interesting man. I simply liked him and we got along very well. Despite being a generation apart we were able to discuss and share some private matters and I always enjoyed our talks.
In his later years, he was sadly still more affected by progressing Parkinson's disease but he still managed to live a full and long life.
He will be missed by many and surely by me.
May he rest in peace.