People seem to love sad romantic stories. How else can you explain the popularity of films such as “Titanic,” “West Side Story” and “The Notebook”?
But we all know that real life just doesn’t work that way — right? Well, in the case of one Japanese-American couple, their love story almost seemed crafted for the big screen.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Ralph and Margie Miyata didn’t exactly have the easiest childhoods. When Ralph was young, his family ended falling afoul of World War II suspicions about all things Japanese.
They ended up losing everything they owned and landed in an Arizona internment camp. However, such treatment didn’t dampen his love of the United States.
“My father was one of the proudest people to be an American. He always proudly displayed the American flag despite what America did to his family,” his daughter Jill Miyata Spencer, wrote.
“It’s amazing how resilient and forgiving my father was.” She added, “He did not hold a grudge against the country he loved so much.”
During the 1950s, Ralph met Margie, and the two wedded in Chicago on June 5, 1955. They eventually moved to Indiana and fell in love with a specific place in the Hoosier State.
They adored Stone Lake, a body of water near the city of La Porte. Margie, in particular, enjoyed water sports such as windsurfing and water skiing.
Ralph chartered a boat he named “Banzai” and took his quartet of kids fishing out on the waters.
Time eventually took the couple to Florida, and Margie eventually passed away at the ripe old age of 87. She had one final wish for her husband.
She wanted 88-year-old Ralph to cremate her body and spread her ashes on the lake they both loved. So he did so on June 4, joined by retired doctor James Sprecher and his wife Betty Sprecher, Margie’s close friend.
The trio took a boat out into the middle of the lake. The scattering of Margie’s ashes occurred without incident, Betty marking the place where they floated away with a peony.
However, when they returned to the dock, James heard a splash. Ralph had fallen into the water, having suffered a cardiac event.
“Dad literally dropped dead,” Spencer said. And the former physician confirmed it.
“It was not a drowning,” James told WSBT-TV. “He was dead when he hit the water.”
James attempted CPR but was never able to get a pulse from the man who’d just fulfilled the final request of his lifelong love.
“He had completed his mission, which was putting his wife’s ashes into the lake,’’ he said.
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