Antigo native posthumously awarded Carnegie Medal - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Antigo native posthumously awarded Carnegie Medal

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Justin Schroepfer, a 24-year-old Antigo native died in 2016 after trying to save two people who were drowning in Lake Superior.

He was there working on wedding plans with his fiancee Suzie Solin.

"He loved it up there, fished a lot up there," said Kevin Schroepfer, Justin's dad.

Justin heard cries for help from two 22-year-old women who were drowning in the lake. While Justin was no stranger to that part of the lake, that day in June of 2016 was different.

"There were waves coming in, it was just too much," said Kevin.

One of the women did survive.

"We knew our whole lives he was a brave, brave guy," said Kevin. "It had to be hard to do, we're proud of him, we all wish he was standing here. It just wasn't God's will."

Because of his act of heroism, Schroepfer was posthumously honored with the Carnegie Medal Tuesday, nearly two years after his death.

His family accepted the medal from Congressmen Sean Duffy.

"Pretty excited at first, but it brings back a lot of the memories of course of, of his loss," said Kevin. "It'll be hard for all of us for a long long time, the rest of our lives."

The bronze medallion has Justin's name etched in the back. His family and Suzie's family were all in attendance for the honor. It was an emotional moment for people who have lost so much.

"It's a great way to have him honored even though he's not here with us," said Kevin.

Several people nominated Justin for the award. The Carnegie Medal honors those who risked their life to save, or attempt to save others.

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