Middleton guidance counselor dies while kayaking in Lake Superior

Canadian Coast Guard recovers Robert Weitzel's body
Middleton guidance counselor dies while kayaking in Lake Superior

A guidance counselor at Glacier Creek Middle School has died while kayaking on Lake Superior.

Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District officials said they learned about Robert Weitzel’s death on Sunday night and have been trying to piece together information over the past few days.

Officials said they told the school district staff about Weitzel’s death on Tuesday but haven’t communicated with parents and the community because they have had only limited communication with Weitzel’s wife, former Middleton High School teacher Debra Weitzel, and their family since Sunday.

Northland’s NewsCenter, a Minnesota television news station, reported the Canadian Coast Guard pulled Weitzel’s body out of a kayak on Sunday, about one mile north of Pigeon Point Bay, just south of the Canadian border.

The report said winds were gusting up to 30 mph, waves were in excess of 6 feet and the water temperature was 42 degrees. The Ontario Province Police confirmed Weitzel’s identity and listed drowning as the cause of death.

Middleton guidance counselor dies while kayaking in Lake Superior

The Northland NewsCenter cited a report by community newspaper the Middleton Time-Tribune that said Weitzel “was on a mission to raise money for urban at-risk children to help them undergo ‘wilderness therapy.”’

Weitzel, 57, had been a guidance counselor at Glacier Creek since 1999. He came to the school district after previous teaching and counseling stints in Tomah and Little Chute, according to Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District officials. 

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