Man Goes To Lake To Spread Father's Ashes - Things Take A Tragic Turn

A man, grieving the loss of his father, wanted to spread his ashes along a lake. Little did he realize, that act of tribute would end in tragedy.

A Michigan family has suffered a devastating double blow as they lost first one man, then his son. The father passed away after a long illness, and instead of burying his beloved dad in the ground, the adult wanted to spread his father's ashes over a lake. The memorial ceremony quickly turned to tragedy, however, when there was a boating accident and several people fell into the lake. The son was killed in the accident.

Robert Louis spent the last year of his life caring for his aging, ailing father. Two weeks ago, his father passed away. The 59-year-old son wanted to spread his father's ashes over Lake Superior in a spot that the family had always loved. Tim Preston of Marquette built a wooden boat from a kit. The boat owner offered to take the mourners out for the ash releasing.

There were seven passengers on the 19-foot motorboat there to pay respects to the deceased. Just as the touching ceremony was taking place, a terrible accident occurred. The boat made a sharp turn with the throttle still open, and it resulted in a large wave coming over the side of the boat.

All seven passengers were swept overboard by the rush of water, and fell into the lake. The boat circled dangerously around them. People in a nearby pontoon saw the fiasco and quickly rushed to help with rescue efforts.

Six of the funeral guests were fished out of the lake. They were treated for hypothermia, said Michigan State Police Trooper Alan Park, and are expected to be fine.

Unfortunately, one body could not be recovered. Authorities arrived and could not immediately find Louis’s body. After a search, on Monday, police found his body washed upon some rocks near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Police believe that after being washed overboard, Louis tried to latch onto the unmanned boat. In doing so, they believe he ended up getting hit by the propeller, which caused the injuries that killed him.

The family is now mourning two deaths instead of one: Louis's father, and Louis himself.

Joe Louis was shocked by the turn of events. He spoke fondly about his brother to WLUC.

“Just everybody he met was his friend, he was very helpful, kind,” said Joe. “The kind of guy that would run into a building on fire to help the people, just incredible.”

"Bobby was one of the most gentle [souls] you can ever have met on or offline," said Robert’s former roommate and best friend, who set up a GoFundMe page to raise $5,000 for the family to cover the funeral costs. So far, more than $2,000 in donations have come in.
"He was one of my best friends and brother for 30 years or more,” says Louis’s friend. “This tragedy will hit many of us very hard especially his brother Joe Louis. Joe now has to pick up the pieces again after losing his father as well."

Source: NY Daily News
Photo: GoFundMe

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