Captain Valerean Askins

Val's memorial burial Saturday Nov 30, 2002
aboard the "AmberJack"
contact Esther Askins

Valerean L. Askins is survived by his wife, Esther, passed 2014, Mother and father Loretta and Valerean.
His brothers Justin & Greg and his sisters, Roberta & Judy and by his nephew's, Christopher, Adan and nieces Patty, Jenny, Elena and Carla.

Val was born June 22, 1946- passed, September 12, 2002

 The Founding members of EDBA  elected Val as there first secretary.
Val retired from the New York City Police Department as a sergeant and  scuba team supervisor.
Honorably discharged from the from the Navy and served in the Naval reserve.
Marine Salvage expert.

Published Photographer, specialty underwater photography.
Member of the Aquarians.

US Coast Guard Merchant Marine licensed Officer 20 years.

Captain Val operated many  northeast dive charter vessels as an alternate captain.

Val dream was to be a Navy Seal, he had been accepted but was not destine to happen.

Val was Boy Scout and became an  Eagle Scout and was and avid  scuba diver being certified at 13 years of age.

We are  sad to inform you our friend and Treasurer, Val Askins, has passed away today September 12, 2002, he had been  battling cancer since March 2002, and  two weeks ago  Val  enjoyed a dive trip to Bonaire with his wife Esther and several friends. Upon returning home last week Val took a turn for the worse. Val has been very weak but not in any pain during his last days with us.  He passed peacefully  surrounded by family and friends.

Val had a Catholic Mass and funeral church service on 
- Monday 10:45
Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, 366 Watchogue Road  Staten Island, NY 10314

Val desired to be cremated and his ashes committed to the sea. A private memorial service will be held on Tuesday September 17, 2002 and the burial will be conducted by the New York City Police Scuba Team at a later date. 

Esther thanks all Val's friend's that have called or visited giving there love and concern for Val in these trying times.


Death is nothing at all...I have only
slipped away into the next room...I am I,
and you are you...whatever we were to
each other that we are still. Call me by
my old familiar name, speak to me in the
easy way which you always used. Put no
difference into your tone, wear no forced
air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we
always laughed at the little jokes we
enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of
me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household
word that it always was. Let it be spoken
without effect, without the ghost of a
shadow on it. Life means all that it ever
meant. It is the same as it ever was, there
is absolutely unbroken continuity. What
is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I
am out of sight. I am just waiting for you,
for an interval somewhere very near,
just around the corner...All is well.

      Canon Henry Scott Holland
1847 - 1918

Taken @ the Swim Across America August 19, 2002,  aboard the Jeanne-II

Copied from eaglesnestwreckdiving

On September 12, 2002 humanity lost an exceptional individual; Valerean Askins. Val was a truly unique human being. He was blessed with tremendous physical strength. I have seen him lift things that would have sent a gorilla to the hernia ward. Yet, along with his tremendous physical strength there was a very kind and gentle side to the man.

During his all too brief lifetime Val served his country in the United States Navy and Naval Reserve. He was a member of the NYPD Scuba Team / Harbor Unit and retired from that unit. After retirement from the NYPD he worked as a construction diver, dock builder, and supervisor. As a sideline Val moonlighted by doing in-water propeller changes for many of the local charter boats and yachts. He had a tremendous work ethic.

Val had a great sense of purpose and dedication to whatever job he undertook. He was by no means a quitter. A NYPD detective once told me a story of a search for a murder weapon that Val conducted in the waters off Arthur Kill, Staten Island. It was suspected that the perpetrator of the crime dumped his gun in those waters. The detective didn't think there was much chance of recovering the weapon but Val said he would give it his best effort. It was a cold day and Val loaned our detective friend his field jacket to keep him warm while he conducted the search. The search took over two hours in the cold, zero visibility water, but Val recovered the gun. He would not quit!

Val Askins was a good friend. He was dedicated and loyal in his friendships. If he liked you there was nothing he wouldn't do for you, at any hour of the day or night. Friends like Val are few and far between. He was a rare breed with great character. That strength of character I have to credit to his upbringing. His parents (both of which survive him) did a remarkable job in raising an exceptional son.

Val Askins passed away from Cancer which was diagnosed shortly after "Beneath the Sea". He did not want people to know about his illness and kept it secret until his final days. I was privileged to spend most his final week at his bedside. I was truly touched by the love and support given him by his family. I'll always remember his sister Judy lying by his side reading scripture to him while he slept; his wife Esther nursing him and being the glue that held the rest of us together; the look of joy on the face of his sister Roberta when he told her he loved her; his brothers Greg and Justin who were there for him each day; the grief of his parents as they sat by his bedside holding his hand while telling him they loved him. Valerian Askins was truly blessed to have such a loving family. It is what made him the remarkable individual that he was.

In the local diving community Val was a member of the legendary "Aquarians" dive club; He crewed and co-captained on the dive boat Jeannie II; he was an officer of the Eastern Dive Boat Association; and at times co-captained aboard the Eagle's Nest.

I will not mourn Val Askins passing, but instead I will celebrate his life. I will always remember him for the great times we had together: his great strength, phenomenal appetite, love of target shooting, his talent as a photographer (above and below water), and his friendship. The people who should mourn him are those who never knew him, for they are surely the ones who will suffer for what they have missed.



Copyright 1995-2015 Steve Bielenda