Torn apart: Tim Hasselbring pictured with his devoted wife Nadia, in July 2009. *Photo supplied
Torn apart: Tim Hasselbring pictured with his devoted wife Nadia, in July 2009. *Photo supplied
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FRIDAY, SEPT. 28: A heartbroken wife has spoken of her family’s devastating loss after the death of her husband from cancer.

Tim Hasselbring — a much loved and respected conservationist, educator and businessman — died last weekend after a two-year-battle battle with cancer. He was 38.

His wife Nadia described him as a “devoted” dad who was “besotted” by their one-year-old daughter, Havilland.

She told the Bermuda Sun: “Tim was utterly besotted with her. It was mutual.

“They could just sit there and beam at each other.

“No one could make her giggle like he could, no one could make as many funny faces, do as many silly voices for her puppets, or console her so reassuringly when she cried.

“Tim said that one of the most wonderful things that he had ever done in his life was to rock his little baby to sleep at night. “

Mr Hasselbring was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in late 2010.

But he continued to work tirelessly and live life to the full until the disease spread to his brain in May.

His wife added: “The enormity of his loss is devastating to us, and it is hard to imagine the future without him.

“But a spirit as strong and as well-loved as Tim’s will always be with us, surrounding us like the sea that was so much a part of him.”

Mr Hasselbring was born in northern Japan in 1974 where his father was a teacher at the Department of Defence overseas school system.

And he came to Bermuda at the age of seven when his parents worked at the Chaffee School on the US Base.

Mrs Aguiar-Hasselbring said: “He had an idyllic childhood in St. David’s, where by all accounts he spent most of his time peering into tide pools. In almost every childhood picture he’s holding a creature.

“Tim loved Bermuda and, aside from his years at university, where he studied biology, he remained here and has always been deeply, elementally connected with the natural world.”

The popular family man went on to found the Bermuda Shark Project as well as captain the Aquarium ship, taking hundreds of children out on educational tours of the island.

He also ran an alternative energy company that was looking to harness the power of wave energy in Bermuda.

Mrs Aguiar-Hasselbring told the Sun: “Tim moved at speed. He didn’t stroll or saunter, he bounded.

“He leaped from docks onto boats and took stairs four at a time with his great long legs. His mind was even faster than his body.

“He was a prodigious reader and had a wonderful ear for language. He was a cook, a carpenter, a boat captain, an artist, an inventor. A friend once said that he didn’t think there was a single thing that Tim wouldn’t be good at.

“But he was a modest person. His love of learning and the satisfaction he took from work were not tied to ego or ambition—they were pure.

“He was the funniest person I knew, and the best storyteller. He was a generous friend and a profoundly devoted and loving husband.”

• The family has set up an education fund for Havilland in her father’s memory. Donations can be made to HSBC account 002-111136-013 or via PO Box FL 145, Flatts, FLBX.