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Irby Sheck Exley, Jr
Birth: Apr. 1, 1949
Death: Apr. 6, 1994
Tamaulipas, Mexico

Sheck Exley: Friends remember renowned cave diver: - April 10, 1994

JACKSONVILLE -- A memorial service was scheduled Tuesday for internationally known cave diver Sheck Exley, who drowned last week while trying to break his own world depth record in Mexico.

Exley, 45, a mathematics teacher at Suwannee County High School in Live Oak, held the mark at 865 feet.

He was trying to reach 1,000 feet at the Del Monte Cave in Central Mexico when he disappeared Wednesday, said John Zumrick, a fellow diver from Orange Park.

Friends said his body was not recovered.

"He's probably the granddaddy of cave diving. He wrote the manual on cave diving," said diver and Chiefland Police Chief Henry Nicholson. "Any cave diver in the world knows Sheck Exley."

Exley's brother, Edward, also drowned in a diving accident in 1968.

The Florida Sheriff's Association made Exley an honorary sheriff for his efforts to help retrieve the bodies of more than 40 people who drowned in caves.

"To a lot of people, diving in caves makes no sense, but his contributions went beyond just swimming in caves," Zumrick said. "It represented major contributions in biology and geology."

Exley wrote more than 10 books on cave diving, was a member of the International Explorers Club and participated in projects for National Geographic magazine and the National Geodetic Survey.

"He was naturally adventurous and didn't take risks that he didn't feel could be managed," Zumrick said. "He was doing what was most important to him in his life. And he died doing what he loved to do."

The memorial service is at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Ortega United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. Exley grew up here and was a graduate of the University of Georgia. 
 
Burial:
Oaklawn Cemetery
Jacksonville
Duval County
Florida, USA
Plot: Section E west, Row 1
 
Created by: K
Record added: Feb 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84939716
Irby Sheck Exley, Jr
Added by: Steve Curlee
 
Irby Sheck Exley, Jr
Added by: K
 
Irby Sheck Exley, Jr
Added by: K
 
 
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- Ruth
 Added: Mar. 27, 2014
Graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, Jacksonville, FL on June 4, 1967. Requiescat in pace.
- Steve Curlee
 Added: Mar. 15, 2014

- purple-lady
 Added: Oct. 15, 2013
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