Family mourns Michigan fisherman who fell through ice on Hartwig Lake

By Mara MacDonald, Local 4 Reporter, @MaraMacDonald
Published On: Jan 01 2013 10:44:12 PM EST
Don Thorpe Sr
GROVELAND, Mich. -

Missing Groveland Township fisherman 2 Don Thorpe Jr. had spent hours on the ice with his father, Don Thorpe Sr.

Thorpe Sr. always was the first fisherman on and the last off at the end of the season. He loved ice fishing.

"Just to get out there and breathe the fresh air. His favorite thing was to go to a lake where there is no cars. Country. Just quietness and fresh, fresh air," said Thorpe Jr.

No one thought twice about Thorpe Sr. going out on Hartwig Lake on Monday. He usually wore a life vest and spikes. However, for some reason he did not on Monday. He fell through the ice.

"I knew if I haven't heard from him ... it wasn't good," said his son.

Divers were on the lake Monday night but it was too dark. They resumed the search on Tuesday, calling a recovery. Thorpe Sr. was found in 13 feet of water.

Read more: Dive team finds body of missing ice fisherman

His family is left stunned and grieving. His son is wishing he had been out there with him, wondering if he could have prevented his father's death.

"I told him at Christmas, I said, 'I want to be the first one to go ice fishing this time with you dad, give me a call,' but, I have been so busy with work and all that, he must of thought I didn't have time or something," said Thorpe Jr.

Hartwig Lake map