Pasco, WA – In 2019, Roger Morfin and a friend were walking back to their hotel room from a Safeway in Auburn, Washington when a food delivery driver hit Roger, killing him.
To his friends and family, Roger was known as Junior, a selfless person that would do anything for anyone and gave back to his Pasco community.
Eddie Valdez met Roger in high school when Roger asked him if he skated. Since then, the two became brothers.
Eddie says Junior was always there for you and would give him the shoes off his feet, so he could skate better.
“He would always be the one to give you anything. A shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to, even if he was going through something,” says Eddie.
Juniors friends say he was 100% a skater, brother and friend.
They would ride the bus after school to Richland, just to use the skate park.
Shortly after he died, another friend, Blaine Phillips created a petition for the City of Pasco to build a skate park to honor Junior.
Currently, Pasco doesn’t have a skate park, so building one in honor of Junior would show the community the impact he had on skaters.
After talking to his friends and family, I reached out to the City of Pasco to show them the petition.
I met with Zach Ratkai, Administrative and Community Services Director. He said the city was well aware of the petition.
In fact, they’ve been doing community outreach to learn what the needs are in Pasco. He says the youth really spoke out about the need for a skate park.
I told him about the person Junior was, according to what his friends and family had said.
He says he open to having that discussion about the potential for a skate park to honor Junior.
“We’d certainly like to know where in Pasco,” says Ratkai, “it could be ideally located to best serve the skating community, but also you know could it be near his former residence.”
After talking to the city, I met with more of Junior’s friends once again.
This time, it was clear how much of an impact Junior had on the skating community, even with people he never met.
Tristan “Tripp” Rios Kriner moved to the Tri-Cities just a couple years ago and says skating has changed his life. It’s helped him mentally and he’s connected with so many people here.
He says every day he goes to the skate parks in Richland and Kennewick, someone mentions Roger’s name.
“I never got to meet him myself personally. Everyday, someone will bring up his name at least once. He made a huge impact on all the skaters. Whether they be the old heads like my age, twenties and older or the younger kids who are just barely starting to skate.”
Tripp says the impact he has on the skating community is more than clear.
Junior’s dad, Roger, sees it too.
“A lot of times I would tell him, you got one brother,” says Roger, “he would tell me nope, I got a whole bunch of brothers.”
Roger says he’s didn’t realize how many skaters/friends/brothers Junior had until now and he feels grateful for them.
“I lost a son but I gained so many more,” he added.
Roger “Junior” Morfin left a lasting impact on the skating community in the Tri-Cities. So much so, the family sat with the City of Richland to had a bench put in the Richland Skate Park in his honor.
The plaque on the bench reads, “In Loving Memory of Roger Morfin. ‘Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.’”
Roger says he and his wife often go to the Richland Park and sit in the bench, watching the other kids skate.
Junior’s friends and family say this skate park will do so much more than be a skate park in Pasco.
They say it’ll help the kids in the Pasco community that may not be able to afford a bus ride to Richland or Kennewick.
They hope it sheds light on the talented skaters in Pasco, pushing them to do bigger and better things.
Article Source: Fox 11