LAPORTE — An 88-year old man died from a heart attack on Tuesday after scattering his late wife’s ashes on Stone Lake in LaPorte and then falling into the water.
LaPorte County Coroner Bob Cutler said the official cause of death was acute myocardial arrest.
Ralph Myata fell off a dock into about seven feet of water at Pine Lake around 11 a.m. Tuesday.
James Sprecher, a retired physician who performed CPR on the man, said he had known Myata for 30 years.
Sprecher helped him out of the boat, and after turning his back, heard the splash of the elderly man falling off the dock into the water.
“It was not a drowning,” said Sprecher. “He was dead when he hit the water.”
Myata didn’t have a pulse after he was pulled out of the lake.
Sprecher says he and Myata’s wife used to water ski, swim and go sailing together often during the summer.
She died in late April.
‘’He had completed his mission, which was putting his wife’s ashes into the lake,’’ said Sprecher.