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Man Drowns While Scattering Father's Ashes

Robert Louis fell out of a boat Sunday on Lake Superior
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2017 2:28 PM CDT
Man Drowns While Scattering Father's Ashes
Robert Louis drowned Sunday after falling out of a boat while scattering his father's ashes on Lake Superior.   (GoFundMe)

A family tragedy was compounded this week in Michigan when the body of a 59-year-old man was found Monday, a day after he fell out of a boat while scattering his father's ashes on Lake Superior. WLUC reports Robert Louis' father died two weeks ago after a battle with Alzheimer's. "My brother literally devoted his whole life to ... making sure Dad was taken care of for the last four years of his life," Louis' brother, John Louis, says. On Sunday, Robert Louis and six others were on a boat on Lake Superior to scatter his father's ashes. "He had told us that he was happy to go up and spread his ashes and follow his final wishes," one of Louis' neighbors tells WJBK.

It's unclear exactly what happened out on the water—MLive reports the boat was hit by a wave, but a witness tells WLUC the boat made a sudden sharp turn—but all seven aboard fell in. By the time troopers arrived, a pontoon boat had pulled six people from the water and they were being treated for hypothermia. Louis was nowhere to be found. His body was discovered following a search nearly 24 hours later. A sheriff's department officer says it appears Louis had tried to grab the boat but was hit by the propeller. Now his family is left to mourn again. John Louis says his brother was "the kind of guy that would run into a building on fire to help." A benefit concert is being held Friday in his memory at the American Legion in Lake Orion where he would often play the guitar. (A New York man honored his childhood friend ... by flushing his ashes.)

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