GENEVA, Ohio — News 5 is learning more about one of the missing boaters whose body was recovered near Geneva State Park on Friday.
Thirty-eight-year-old Cory Althar’s wife Chrystal says her husband loved being out on the lake in his boat so much, that during fishing season they’d joke that he wouldn’t have time to see her until it was over.
“Stubborn, with a huge heart,” Chrystal Althar said while describing her husband Cory at their home Sunday evening.
The two met eight years ago, married back in October 2017, and have five children – four from previous relationships and one grandchild.
But Chrystal says her children never looked at Cory as a stepdad, and instead as a “bonus dad.”
It was back on May 18 when Cory and his daughter’s new boyfriend James Wells took off from Geneva State Park in his 15-foot fishing boat for a bonding trip.
Chrystal says Cory told her to have a “girls’ day” and that he would meet her back at their home just 10 minutes away before sundown.
She was late, but still beat Cory home.
“So I went down to the boat deck to yell at him,” she said.
But when she saw Cory’s truck and no sign of him or James, she called 911 and then waited several hours as the U.S. Coast Guard and ODNR searched Lake Erie, finally finding his boat shortly before 2 a.m.
Chrystal says that’s when she lost hope.
A few days later, the rescue attempt turned into a recovery mission and on Saturday, Chrystal and her family got the confirmation they had been dreading.
And while the past few weeks have been the most difficult, the Althar family are taking some small comfort that he died doing the one thing he loved the most.
Chrystal says now life for her family means finding a “new normal.”
"Like, I don't believe people when they say it gets better, it gets easier. Like I think you just, you learn to live with it," she said.
And while she has mixed feelings on keeping her husband’s boat, her children want to plant a memorial garden in it for him.