L. Askins is survived by his
wife, Esther, passed
2014, Mother and father Loretta and Valerean.
is nothing at all...I have only
my name be ever the household
|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