For almost all of his life, Josh Kasnicka could be found on board at Frontier Skate Park.
“He was an avid skateboarder, he ate drank and slept skateboarding. When he wasn’t at school or with friends he was skateboarding,” said Jim Kasnicka, Josh’s dad.
But at the young age of 21, Josh’s life was cut short by a heroin overdose, something his family never thought possible.
“Oh my goodness I was shocked, I could not believe it. Nothing prepares you to hear that someone you loved passed away when they shouldn’t have,” said Elisabeth Kasnicka, Josh’s sister.
The Kasnickas wanted to do something to keep Josh’s spirit alive. So they contacted the Naperville Park District and together, had a memorial boulder placed at the entrance of Frontier Skate Park one year after his death.
Featured on the boulder: a picture of Josh in action and words that remind of all he had accomplished, like his trip to a national skate competition and the happiness the sport brought him.
“When we walk up and see this it gives us kind of a warm feeling because I can’t tell you how many times when Josh was in grade school and I’d drop him off here and he’d skate all day until I pick him up. So it reminds of a happier time Josh had here at the skate park,” said Jim.
While his family was forced to endure the unexpected death of their son, they’re hoping other families will learn from their hardship.
“I would really like to start a foundation or something in his name because I know that heroin use is so dangerous and it’s so current nowadays and it’s sad, and something needs to stop because no other family should have to go through this,” added Elisabeth.
The boulder was designed to resemble the Rocky Mountains in Colorado because Josh attended college there for one year.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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