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Capt George Garland Purifoy, Jr

Photo added by Robert C. Peurifoy

Capt George Garland Purifoy, Jr

  • Birth 8 Jan 1945 Morehead City, Carteret County, North Carolina, USA
  • Death 14 Sep 2008 Morehead City, Carteret County, North Carolina, USA
  • Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea
  • Memorial ID 29894619

Scuba Pioneer, underwater archaeologist and explorer. Doing what he loved best, Capt. George Purifoy died leading a trip on his dive ship Olympus. Known throughout the world for his exploration of the seas off the North Carolina Coast. He introduced thousands to the sport of SCUBA diving. An even greater number came to know the shipwrecks of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" through his experiences. He was the owner of the internationally known Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City. Purifoy took his first dive in 1961 and had completed over 7,000 dives at the time of his passing. He is credited for the discovery and identification of numerous shipwrecks off the coast of the southern Outer Banks, most notably the WWII German Submarine U-352. Following the U-Boat discovery he reunited in 1983 the survivors of the submarine and the Coast Guard Icarus crew which captured them. Before his full time diving career, Mr. Purifoy was a diesel mechanic and owned a repair shop for nearly 25 years. Purifoy began running a small dive business in 1976. The business expanded in the late 1970's with the purchase of Olympus I, a 57-foot, wooden-hulled head boat and the addition of Olympus Barbell Club, Morehead City's first fitness center. The current dive shop was built in 1982 and the 65' aluminum hulled Olympus used today was purchased in 1986. George's hobby became his full time career and expanded his business with the introduction of a second vessel, the 48' Midnight Express. Beyond his business accomplishments, he brought international recognition to the area and the sport of Scuba Diving through many media outlets including The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and the Imax Corporation.
Survivors include his companion, Paula Whitfield of Morehead City; daughter, Sandra Purifoy Maschmeyer and husband, Scott, of Steger, IL; son, Robert "Bobby" Purifoy and wife, Tina, of Morehead City; their mother, Lyndia Purifoy of Morehead City; sister, Betty Sue "Sukie" Purifoy of Morehead City; brother, Kenneth Ball and wife, Jeannine, of Morehead City; grandchildren, Cariann Willis, Tanner Willis, Zack Maschmeyer of Steger, IL, and Payton Purifoy of Morehead City.


Family Members


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  • Created by: Robert C. Peurifoy
  • Added: 18 Sep 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 29894619
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Capt George Garland Purifoy, Jr (8 Jan 1945–14 Sep 2008), Find A Grave Memorial no. 29894619, ; Maintained by Robert C. Peurifoy (contributor 46928811) Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.