Kirk Robinson loved skateboarding and possessed an infectious enthusiasm for life, according to his father, Gary.
The Mercer Islander was a compassionate and relentless difference-maker who thrived in his work as a firefighter, in the community service realm locally along with building houses during missions to Mexico for families in need and much more. He was a connector and an organizer, Gary said of his son’s many qualities.
The Mercer Island City Council unanimously voted at its April 5 meeting to rename the Skate Park at Mercerdale Park to the “Kirk Robinson Skate Park.” Kirk passed away on Oct. 4, 2019, at the age of 42 from stage four metastatic melanoma.
“As you can imagine, this is an emotional event for Lori and I,” Gary told the council at the meeting. “We want to express our appreciation to the city council for honoring Kirk in this way. Kirk was a true Mercer Islander and he loved this Island. Kirk would have been truly pleased to see skateboarding finally getting its share of attention.”
Gary added that Jessie, Kirk’s wife of 13 years, and their boys Gavin and Levi couldn’t attend the meeting, and he thanked the council on their behalf.
Council also appropriated $5,500 for the design and installation of new signage, which will include information about Robinson and his legacy. Staff will design and produce the signage, and installation is estimated to take place this August.
Robinson was a neighbor of Mayor Salim Nice, who said that he was an integral part of their neighborhood and a well-loved part of the community.
“I’m just so pleased that we could do something to honor him back. He’s done so much for this community,” Nice said.
Councilmember Wendy Weiker knew Robinson through his work with the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church and missions to Mexico.
“My son was lucky enough to get to join him on one of his last trips. What a sparkling example and hero he was among us for those of us that got to know him later in life, and I’m just so grateful that I did,” she said.
Father Gary said Kirk caught skateboard fever early on and kept his wheels rolling throughout his life. Copious skateboards could be found in his garage and Gary believes he never parted with one.
“He was a proponent of the skateboard park and was continually looking to see what could be done to improve or maintain it. Immediately before his loss, he considered a project to see how it could be completely redone,” Gary said.