A message from John and Dori Ritter of Diver Commercial International:
[If you would like to write a message or share a story or memory of Fred, you can see our Fred Aichele forum post]
“It has been a difficult two weeks for us. Fred was a good friend, mentor to all divers who ever met with or worked with him, a man with a great sense of humor.
His son, Bob, said he went out on his own terms. That alone says volumes about the man. His principles for fairness, honor and respect touched everything he did and everyone he knew. John and I were fortunate to have been among his large circle of friends. There are endless stories about Fred and his “escapades”. I will miss the twinkle in his eyes and the sly grin as he was ready to tell a story, or hit you with one of his fabled verbal barbs; never mean spirited, just all in fun.
I have been the target for some of the most memorable as I was always saying something that would get him started. On one occasion, I arrived late to a meeting. On waliking in I heard Fred’s voice on the PA and asked where he was. Looking, in vain, for the podium at which I knew he was standing I said, “Fred, I can hear you, but I can’t find you”. His response was: “That’s funny, I can see you!”. Continuing to ask where he was while receiving a stream of comments from Fred finally reaslized that I was standing next to the podium. He just looked at me and shook his head while the room filled with laughter.
Fred was the highlight of every meeting. Who can forget his fund raising “auctions” at Western Chapter meetins where Fred recognized a cough, blink, movement or even conversations, as signs of bidding on the object in his hand. The play continued with the guests afraid to move and Fred finding a way to get the object in his hands. The Auctions became the reason that you went to the Chapter meetings as a great time was had by all who attended. His work with the ADC is the stuff of history as is his passion for promoting safety in diving.
John and I were at the gathering at his home. We visited with him for two days, spending the entire Saturday with him and visiting again on Sunday. It was a time we will never foget as Fred met his final days with amazing grace and humor, surrounded by the friends and relatives he loved. On saying our good byes, John said “I’ll see you at the ten foot stop”…Fred replied “I’ll be waiting”. Knowing Fred, you can count on it.”
– John and Dori Ritter