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Valencia businessman Roger Rodas remembered as down-to-earth, friendly

Financial adviser to actor Paul Walker was well-known local man

Posted: December 2, 2013 8:54 p.m.
Updated: December 2, 2013 8:54 p.m.

This June 2013 photo from the Facebook page of custom car shop Always Evolving shows Roger Rodas.


SANTA CLARITA - Those wno knew him say Valencia business owner Roger Rodas was the kind of person you wanted to be friends with.

“He was a total down-to-earth guy, a guy you just wanted to hang out with,” said David Guenther, owner of J. David’s Custom Clothiers in Valencia.

Guenther said he had known Rodas, who died in a car crash in Valencia Saturday, for about six or seven years.

“For three days I’ve been hardly able to function,” Guenther said Monday. “I just considered him a truly fabulous person.”
“It feels like I’ve lost a family member,” he added.

Rodas was the driver of a red Porsche Carrera GT when it crashed Saturday afternoon in the Rye Canyon Business Park in Valencia. The crash left the car as a mangled mass of metal and both Rodas and passenger Paul Walker, an actor best known for his roles in the “Fast and Furious” film franchise, dead.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, according to law enforcement officials.

Stephen Callister, who works at the Glendale law firm Callister & Broberg, said he had been Rodas’ lawyer and known him for about 15 years.

“He was just a very good person,” Callister said Monday. “He had a lot of friends and a lot of people who admired him.”

Former “Happy Days” star Scott Baio took to Twitter to express his sadness over Rodas’ death.

“Roger Rodas was my dear friend and a good human being,” reads a post on Baio’s verified Twitter account. “I will miss him.”

Rodas and Walker were friends and business associates, with Rodas serving as Walker’s Merrill Lynch financial adviser, according to an article on the Merrill Lynch website.

Rodas and Walker met at a California race club and “the two struck up a conversation when Walker noticed Rodas driving a Porsche GT3 he had previously owned,” the article says.

The pair also collaborated in philanthropic efforts, with Rodas’ company, Valencia-based high-performance vehicle shop Always Evolving, partnering with Walker’s nonprofit organization Reach Out Worldwide to collect toys to send to typhoon-ravaged areas of the Philippines.

No one from Rodas’ family could be reached for comment Monday.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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