Heath Jens Laetari, 28 years old, Vice President of Dive Operations, Partner & Acquisition Manager for Dynasty Marine, was lost at sea on Thursday, September 14th, 2006, doing what he loved to do.
Heath was born in Wichita, Kansas on July 5th, 1978. At age 3 months, he took his first swim lessons at the YMCA with Mom & Dad. After moving to rural Sedgewick County, he attended St. Marks Grade School, and at age 13 earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification, and fell in love with the ocean. He went on to Andale High in Andale, Kansas, where he lettered in wrestling, football, and track, and earned his lifeguard certificate, graduating in 1996. In 1997 he took additional training to earn his PADI Dive Master rating, and began work on his degree in Marine Biology at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He completed work on his degree at Nova Southeastern, Dania, Florida.
In 2001, Heath accepted a position with Dynasty Marine. In 2003, after much additional training from Dynasty personnel and others, he was promoted to VP of Dive Operations and later became Acquisition Manager. In 2004, Heath met the love of his life Summer Boggs, whom he married on May 20th of this year. Heath is survived by his wife Summer of Marathon; Goddaughter Katie Black of Marathon; Grandfather E.O. Laetari of Wichita, Kansas; The only son of Val & Jane Laetari of Goddard, Kansas/Marathon, Florida; Patti Boggs & David Oser, Mother-and-Father-In-Law of Marathon; very close dive associates: Forrest Young, Ben Daughtry, Larry Wright, Frank Young, and Bucky Wile, along with the rest of the Dynasty Marine team; and a long list of Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews and close friends scattered in at least 7 states.
The Health Laetari Endowed Scholarship for Marine Biology was established in 2007 by Val and Jane Laetari in memory of their son, Heath Jens Laetari. Spendable income from the Heath Laetari Endowed Scholarship for Marine Biology provides scholarship support to Southwestern College students based on the following: 1) Current Southwestern College students majoring in Marine Biology or 2) Those admitted to study at Southwestern College with an interest in studying Marine Biology who have demonstrated such credentials or associations with marine or marine-related activities and/or studies or underwater diving certifications – an aquarist.