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Family remembers legacy of husband, father after drowning incident

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 07:18:44-04

GLENDALE — It's difficult for Brock Jonassen to think back to his last conversation with his father, Lorne. The devoted 52-year-old husband, father and grandfather adored his family.

"He would text my mother every morning how beautiful and how gorgeous she was," says Jonassen.

The family made the move from Minnesota to Arizona three years ago.

Lorne also had a passion for the outdoors.

"We would go ride snowmobiles on the weekend, go fishing in the summer,” Jonassen says.

Family tells ABC15 Lorne respected the water and was an experienced swimmer. But what was supposed to be a fun day on Lake Pleasant, took a devastating turn.

Lorne, his wife, daughter, and grandson were boating over Memorial Day Weekend. Family tells ABC15 that at some point, a swimmer’s flag fell off the boat. Lorne swam out to retrieve it but drifted farther and farther away from the boat.

Lorne was eventually submerged underwater. His daughter, Kelsey, jumped off the boat to try to save him and after a tough fight, the family tells ABC15 that Lorne eventually let go.

It was nearly 150 feet deep where Lorne went under. After days of searching, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office announced his body was found Tuesday night.

Lorne Jonassen is the sixth person to die at Lake Pleasant in the past six weeks. The Jonassen family is now left wondering what to do without him.

"He was just an amazing person. He would have done anything for anybody, especially his family. And it's just terrible to have to deal with this and my mother has to deal with this. My sister and my grandson,” Jonassen says.

Lorne was the breadwinner of the family and because of his unexpected death, the family is struggling financially.

If you feel called to help, we’ve attached resources to help the Jonassen family below:

  • RiverWood Bank in Baudette, Minnesota: Lorne Jonassen Memorial
  • Venmo: @Kelsey-Jonassen