By Dianna Smith
It wasn't just the treasure that kept Bob "Frogfoot" Weller in crystal blue waters searching for pieces of the past.
It was the people. And the stories. And that sparkle in the eye that Mr. Weller often got when he made a discovery, when he wrote another book, when he found someone else to inspire.
Mr. Weller, a man who some fondly say lived three lives, died Monday, Oct. 13, at 83, leaving behind not only his treasures, but a slew of family, friends and admirers who could spend a lifetime sharing stories.
"He was a hard man to keep down," said his best friend, Ernie Richards of Lake Worth. "He had a Naval career, he was in sales and marketing and now this," referring to his treasure hunting passion and business, Crossed Anchors Salvage.
Mr. Weller served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean Conflict, earning the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for bravery, and was one of the first combat diver team members, nicknamed "Frogman," which eventually led to the nickname "Frogfoot."
He later earned degrees in architectural and civil engineering and eventually became a reliable salesman with charisma and a knack for making friends. Friends like John Adair of Lantana. The two men met through work and remained friends for 40 years.
"He took me diving in the Keys in 1966," Adair said. "He and I became friends ever since then."