Diving Legend Frances “Fran” Garr Dies June 9

8/29/2008 3:38:02 PM
Diving legend Frances “Fran” Garr died June 9 at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J. Garr was an inaugural member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

Garr had a long and illustrious career in diving. She was supervisor and solo performer of the famed “Sea Hunt” show at the New York World’s Fair. The only performer to combine scuba with water ballet, she also gave exhibitions on cruise ships, enabling her to pioneer and popularize underwater tours in the Caribbean.

She later founded the Aqua Lung School of New York, where she trained thousands of instructors and students. Garr became PADI’s first female master instructor. As PADI’s first Mid-Atlantic regional director, she conducted its first Instructors’ Institute with Ralph Erickson, PADI’s president and cofounder.

A memorial service will be held at the Lillian Booth Actors Home on Sept. 16.

— Hillary Viders