Dottie Frazier, a “Diving Legend” in her own right, and a Women Divers Hall of Famer died just shy of her 100th birthday. (July 22, 2022) Her father died one month shy of his 100th birthday, and on his deathbed, he told Dottie, “I’m not going to make it to 100; it’s up to you now.” Sadly, she did not reach this milestone. Dottie died peacefully on February 8th, surrounded by her family.
Dottie was unquestionably a trailblazer in her day. What’s incredible about Dottie isn’t what she did, but when she did it. She enjoyed ocean swimming, boating, surfing, skin diving, and spearfishing in the 1920s. She was raised as if she were the son her father never had. At the age of ten, she wore “one of the masks” her father made for her out of bits of fire hose, glass, tape, glue, and braces from an old inner tube. At the age of 15, she was especially skilled at spearfishing, and her specialty catch was lobsters. She was catching groupers (which can grow to be 7.5 feet long and weigh more than 440 pounds) and lobsters weighing 25 pounds while standing 5 feet tall and weighing 100 pounds. She attributes her love of water to her father.
Dottie began teaching skin diving in 1940 and went on to become the United States’ first female scuba instructor in the early 1950s. She was a hard hat diver for two years, a wetsuit manufacturer for the Navy and the general public, and the owner of Penguin, a dive shop, for 15 years.
Dottie, your legend will live on!