An 88-year-old man died minutes after scattering his wife’s ashes over a lake to fulfill her “final wish.”
Ralph Seichi Miyata traveled from Florida to La Porte, Indiana on June 4 to place the ashes of his late wife, Margie, in a final resting place — Stone Lake.
According to an obituary written by the couple’s daughter, Jill Miyata Spencer, Ralph set off in a boat with longtime friends to disperse the ashes in the lake, which was his late wife’s “happy place.” But just moments after scattering Margie’s ashes, Ralph suffered ventricular fibrillation, “dropped dead” and fell into the water.
LaPorte County Coroner’s Office said that “Ralph’s body was retrieved from the lake by his old friend, Dr. James Sprecher, who called 911 and began CPR,” Oregon Live reported. “Ralph was transported to a hospital where he died.”
According to LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation for this incident was handled by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
Ralph and his wife had lived in La Porte from 1965 to 2012, according to his obituary, before moving to Florida. But prior to life on the lake, Ralph had once lived in a Japanese internment camp.
While she didn’t mention in his obituary, Jill posted a video on YouTube of an interview her father gave with an occupational therapist. In it, he details how he was was a fourth-generation Japanese-American living in California when World War II broke out. In 1942, when he was 11 years old, his family was sent to live in an internment camp in Poston, Arizona.
Ralph shared that Margie and her family also lived in an internment camp in Tule Lake, California.
In sharing the video on Facebook, Jill wrote that “despite what America did to him” and his family and Margie’s family, he continued to be one of the proudest Americans ever, and “always boldly displayed the stars and stripes.”
Ralph passed away one day before what would have been his 64th wedding anniversary with Margie, who died only months before her husband — on April 21— while in hospice care at a nursing home in Florida, according to the obituary.
“They didn’t miss a beat in being together for their special day,” Jill wrote.
The family wished for Ralph’s story — about his time in internment camps and “endearing” love story with Margie – to be recognized.
“My parents story is beautiful bond of deep love and a mission of passion that my dad accomplished for my mom,” Jill wrote. “It’s a Back Home Again in Indiana love story. Some times real life is better than any ending Hallmark could have scripted!”
According to Oregon Live, James Miyata, the couple’s son said that his father’s body was cremated following his death. They plan on scattering his ashes to join with Margie’s in Stone Lake.
Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to Jill Miyata Spencer for comment.
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