Brian “Pat” Kipf
It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of 2018 recipient Brian “Pat” Kipf. We met him in 2017 when he applied to the foundation. Pat and his wife Shelia were selling their business and planning to move to Florida so Pat could be near his beloved ocean while battling the effects of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS)
As a master diver, he was in love with the world below. When PPMS changed his mobility, he turned to Dive Pirates, continuing to live life to the fullest. Pat traveled with us in September 2018 to Cayman Brac. Celebrating every dive, he thanked everyone on his boat for help after every dive. He even took in a night dive, and rallied with his boat as Sponge Bob. He spent his final days looking out at the ocean. His final resting place will be at the Neptune Memorial Reef off of Biscayne Bay. Pat, thank you and Shelia for spending part of your precious time with us. You touched us all and will always be a part of the crew.
He had discovered diving on his 50th birthday while doing a Snuba excursion in the Keys. Returning home, he took open water classes at DiVentures in Springfield and dives in the Keys. By his 53rd birthday was a certified PADI Divemaster with plans to move to the ocean. He planned using his new skills to share his love of diving with others. Before he could set his plan in motion, doctors diagnosed him with PPMS. He quickly lost the use of his left arm and leg.
The love of water and desire to continue to dive and share the wonders of scuba diving brought him to Dive Pirates. Pat worked with adaptive dive instructors at Springfield DiVentures to re-enter the scuba diving experience. He hoped to continue toward becoming an assistant instructor in adaptive diving.