Remembering Erik Richardson, 1986-2021

Three weeks ago, we reported briefly on the death of a man in The Junction. Authorities never released his name. But commenters knew who he was, and now we have his obituary:

Erik Richardson, a West Seattle community member, died the morning of Monday, 8/9/2021. He was found alone near the Junction Starbucks. Fentanyl was the cause of death. He was 34.

Erik was born in Arizona. Like his time in West Seattle, his upbringing was rocky, including deaths of his two older brothers. Despite many terrors around him, Erik’s circumstances didn’t drown him. He made his way to the Pacific Northwest during his later 20’s in pursuit of Alaskan fishing employment, which he did for some time.

In West Seattle, Erik was known for his friendly demeanor with the people he’d cross. For a time, he sold Real Change newspapers at various spots in the community and worked at local establishments including Little Prague European Bakery and Kizuki Ramen. Some may also recall the parakeets he would have on his shoulder, particularly around Alki. Erik was always quick to offer a helping hand or greeting.

Those close to Erik are devastated by his death. Erik was a blessing while he was with us. He lived in the struggle of addiction, sometimes torpedoing the opportunities before him. Erik leaves behind a 16-year-old nephew (Damon) and 13-year-old son (Jayden) in Arizona, and a partner and newborn (John) here in West Seattle.

Any Erik stories in the comments below are very appreciated. Feel free to contribute any photos/videos to

Gifts in Erik’s honor can be given to:

MentorKids USA – With the help of this organization, Erik was blessed with a “big brother” mentor and friend named Jeff from some of his trying times as a teenager until present day. No matter how bleak things looked for Erik, Jeff has been there the last 23 years. Erik treasured this relationship.

Seattle Humane – in remembrance of Erik’s love for animals.

WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

It should also be noted that tomorrow is International Overdose Awareness Day, with an event planned in West Seattle.

14 Replies to "Remembering Erik Richardson, 1986-2021"

  • Patrick August 30, 2021 (8:16 pm)

    Absolutely tragic – as I look over at my infant daughter, my eyes are welling up at the thought of her not knowing her dad.God bless you and everyone that loves you. Please, nobody forget the role that McKinsey has played in so many of these young, wonderful people taken too soon.

  • Deb Barker August 30, 2021 (8:49 pm)

    MoCA is going to miss you Erik. You willingly pitched in and helped us out at the Morgan Junction Community Festival for several years running. We were grateful for your smile, your enthusiasm and your attention to detail. From event set up, and trouble shooting, and the ever necessary solid waste sorting, you did the job of many. Thank you Erik for being the kind soul that you were. May you Rest In Peace. ‘Miss Deb’

  • Erikwascool August 30, 2021 (9:59 pm)

    Was he the guy I would see on occasion playing guitar in the junction ? If so rock in peace.

  • Carmen August 30, 2021 (11:25 pm)

    May your soul rest in peace 🙏🏻 Until we meet again…

  • Phillip Tavel August 31, 2021 (8:25 am)

    He had some pretty tough ups and downs in his life. He had a good heart, but he had been surrounded by some real tragedy. I remember when he told me that he had actually walked to Seattle from Arizona when he first came here. May he find the peace now that he hadn’t found in life. 

  • james trollimger August 31, 2021 (8:29 am)

    Met Erik at Seaview Methodist Church very likable guy Peace is yours Erik.  James

  • Haley August 31, 2021 (10:25 am)

    I will always miss you baby! John will know your name, I love you always

  • David Meza August 31, 2021 (3:18 pm)

    I’m sorry to hear about Erik’s passing.  I’ve known him for a long time since the time he would sell Real Change at the McDonald’s near the Morgan Junction.  He was a very kind person but struggled with the trauma from his past.  Anytime he say me around he would make a point to come an say hi.  My family had him over for Thanksgiving once and I really got learn about him and his struggles.  I wish he had gotten more help and support to deal with his profound turmoil.  May you Rest In Peace and be free off all your pain.

  • Ruby and Trevor August 31, 2021 (8:50 pm)

    Thanks for always having our backs and looking out for us. I was always happy to play any song you wanted to hear, before covid we loved our safety meetings. I seen you just days before your new baby was born, and it was another dead night in the junction, but you, like always gave me the change you had. Offered us cigs or anything you could. Always a smile, always a funny joke, and always respectful. Yet another good one lost during these two years and it’s tragic! One love man, you’re always in the junction soul and be in our hearts. To his family- he was great. To his partners I’m so sorry and to his son- your father was a legend. Love always-ruby and Trevor. 

  • S. A. September 1, 2021 (4:56 pm)

    Imagine: Every single unhoused person in West Seattle (and beyond) is as much of a human being as Erik. Every single one of them has a story, usually of trauma and hardship, just as Erik did. Every one of them deserves as much care, as much kindness, as Erik did. How would that change the comments on stories about encampments and sweeps and chronic homelessness, if we all kept that in mind?

    • Cozy September 1, 2021 (5:30 pm)

      Well said.

      WSB, thank you for following up, and sharing this obituary.

      Does his partner and newborn need anything? Is there a way the community might extend some help and care to them?

      • Haley September 13, 2021 (5:20 pm)

        Hi, the baby and I are currently living with my parents well I save for an apartment thank you for thinking of us

    • miws September 1, 2021 (6:36 pm)

      Thank You, S.A. —Mike

    • Ruby September 2, 2021 (7:25 pm)

      Say it louder for the back please!!!!

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