Bill SchmoldtIndividual to be memorialized:     Bill Schmoldt
Nominating Club:     Shore Aquatic Club
Reason individual is being named:

William C. Schmoldt (1947-2002) was an inspiration to many divers in and out of the State of New Jersey.  Employed for many years with AT&T in Holmdel, NJ, Bill had a life-long passion for diving and shipwreck history.  An avid artifact collector, Bill dived shipwrecks frequently off the New Jersey coast, but also visited Canada to seek artifacts to further expand his collection.  He would painstakingly conserve and carefully display his artifacts in his Brielle home and throughout the region as opportunities presented themselves.  Bill also researched the wrecks he would dive.  The amount of information he collected was so vast, he began presenting his findings at dive clubs and other organizations on a regular basis. 

Perhaps Bill’s greatest accomplishment was to open the Brielle Dive Center and Brielle Maritime Bookstore, a two-in-one establishment that offered divers the opportunity to expand their knowledge of shipwreck history while waiting for their tanks to fill or while buying needed gear.  The artifacts Bill displayed in his shop were not only his own, but also on loan from such noted area divers as Captain George Hoffman, Captain Bill Nagle, and others.  Bill Schmoldt’s vision was to create a “clearing house of information” as it related to area divers and what they were exploring.  Ultimately, he planned for his shop to become a museum and research center for anyone interested in shipwreck history.  Unfortunately, that vision failed to fully materialize, but for the time his shop was open, ideas flowed, artifacts were displayed, and dive trips were planned - and booty was collected!  His idea was the inspiration for the New Jersey Historical Divers Association’s shipwreck museum. 

Bill was an honorary member of SAC.  He educated us with his slide presentations, he awed with his knowledge of shipwrecks and their histories, and he entertained us with tales of his exploits (he also did us a few favors at the shop - thanks Bill).

Bill Schmoldt died after complications associated with a heart attack and the bends while diving the Andrea Doria in 2002.  He was a joker, a prankster, and a real friend.  We miss him, and we miss his smile. 

Date Submitted:  November 19, 2008