I did not know Roger Swigart. However, I have met and spoken with a few of his friends.
And yes, they miss him and are angry that he is no longer here on this plain or on a mountain hill of wilderness with them — enjoying the outdoor spirit he embodied.
Roger was 59-years old and a father of two children. He graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1978 and went on to become a local business owner of JR Swigart Roofing, with a proven reputation as a hardworking, well-respected and successful businessman.
His friends all raved in unison about how much he was loved by everyone. They echoed in harmony his quality of character to stand up for what was right or to defend family and friends — what defined the caring man and his generous spirit for others. And, that’s one of the reasons they are outraged by his death.
Swigart’s posse of strong friends have questions about the June 16th incident which claimed his life, and they’re looking to Klickitat County Sherriff Bob Songer and his office for answers.
This determined group shares riding side by side with one another in similar custom as the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Posse, a band of neighborhood citizen volunteers working in a partnership with the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office to reduce crime throughout the county.
Both parties seek to establish and maintain a safe living environment for the citizens, which includes the right of all persons within Klickitat County to be free from criminal attack, to be secure in their possessions and to live, travel and exist in peace.
My dad used to tell me that a man is judged by the quality of his friends, and from the ones I’ve met, Roger was a rich man who will be missed — they will seek justice to be served on behalf of their friend.
There’s a memorial service planned on Saturday, July 20, at 2 p.m. at the Sunnyside Eagles Aerie Lodge — I plan on meeting more of Roger’s kindred friends and family to learn more about how he lived.