More than 10 years after cyclist Ron Repka was killed by an impaired driver west of Fort Wayne, his widow joined city officials Thursday to show his death hasn't been for nothing.
Repka's widow, Sharon Repka, along with Mayor Tom Henry and local trail advocates, dedicated the new Ronald G. Repka Park, a 3.7-acre piece of land on Homestead Road just south of Liberty Mills Road.
Former Aboite New Trails director Lynn Reecer said Repka's death prompted efforts to create a safe trail system for Aboite Township residents. The park's re-naming Thursday made a fitting culmination to the story, Reecer said.
"Today it's kind of come full-circle," she said. "We'd rather have Ron here, but what a beautiful tribute to his life."
Sharon Repka set up the Ronald Repka Foundation after her husband's death and teamed with Reecer to develop the trail system.
Sharon Repka said she was "overwhelmed" that city officials renamed the park as a memorial to her husband.
"It's such an honor that Ron's name was considered," she said.
The park, which was set up in 2006 but had been called Homestead Park, features a firefighter-themed playground - a Fort Wayne fire station is located just to the north - an open-air pavilion and a short path that links with the Aboite Trails system.