August 28, 2014

Elyria
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Friends say man found in Lake Erie was artistic, loving

SHEFFIELD LAKE — The body of an adult man found in Lake Erie last week has been identified as Robert Remec, 56, a man who friends say was artistic, humble and above all, loving.

“He was a deep, compassionate person,” said Remec’s friend, David Blaine.

Remec’s body was found among the rocks close to the Sheffield Lake Boat Launch near the intersection of East Lake and Lake Breeze roads about 1 p.m. Friday. He lived on Sunset Avenue in Sheffield Lake.

His family told police they last saw him Wednesday afternoon.

An autopsy found Remec died from drowning, according to Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans. Police have ruled out foul play, but they continue to investigate.

The story came as a difficult blow to Remec’s friends and members of Gathering Hope House, which Remec frequented as a patient. According to both volunteers and patients at the home, Remec was well-loved.

“He seemed content. He always talked to everyone. Everything about him sticks out in your mind,” said Anna, a volunteer at Gathering Hope.

Though Blaine had known Remec for just a few months, he said the two connected over their shared struggles with mental illness.

“(Remec) said ‘I could really use a friend,’” Blaine said, remembering the moment the two met at Gathering Hope. On their first meeting, Remec showed Blaine a painting he had made depicting a cross with the word “recovery” painted underneath. For Blaine, it was a significant moment of understanding between the two men.

“We hugged and cried. From there we became friends,” Blaine said.

It is that love of art that Remec’s friends remember the most about him.

“Whatever he was feeling, he would bring out on a canvas,” Anna said, explaining how Remec had a unique style to his painting. “We always knew (when a painting) was his.”

Blaine said that similar to his love of art, Remec loved nature and often took long walks outside.

“He liked beauty,” Blaine said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.