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DULUTH-14-year-old Caleb Eider and other friends remember Jeff Bowen Junior on Saturday afternoon during a free skate at the Encounter in downtown Duluth.
"I think it's kind of lonesome. I miss him a lot and it's really hard to replace a friend like him," Eider said.
Bowen Junior, known as "Bubba" to his family, died after jumping into an area known as "the Deeps" last summer.
After five days of searching the rushing current of the Lester River, members of the St. Louis County Rescue Squad eventually discovered Bowen's body in Lake Superior.
During Saturday's memorial his family continued coping the way they think "Bubba" would have wanted – with skateboarding.
"Just to remember who he was," event organizer Dawn Walker-Hall said. "This was his favorite thing to do. In his spare time he'd always be out in the driveway trying different tricks and practicing things and always wanting somebody to watch and check things out."
"First time I met him I felt like I knew him for years," Eider said. "We just clicked and we were instant friends. We had a sleepover the first night we met and it was pretty fun."
Eider says he was there the day 13-year-old Bowen was egged on to jump into the Lester River's rushing water.
After the skate, Jeff Bowen Senior father returned to the scene for the first time in months to drop roses where a memorial was washed away.
"Before the flood, you know, it was all decorated and stuff but, of course, the flood washed stuff away. We'll be back down here to decorate it though," Bowen Sr. said.
As dad, Bowen Sr. said he doesn't remember a lot of the last year. Grief, he said, has had the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder.
But his goal remains the same - help the people who helped his family.
"[We] raised a little money for the St. Louis County Rescue Squad. We raised a few dollars which was cool. The kids dug deep, every single cent. It was full of pennies and all kinds of other stuff. It was cool," Bowen Sr. said.
"We're actually going to have an annual skate now. Encounter agreed to an annual skate. So that will be fun. We can get together every year and i can fall down some more. I'm pretty sore right now," Bowen said with a laugh.
The family is also working with sponsors to start a 5k run to benefit a scholarship fund. Jeff Bowen Senior said he hopes to have it organized by next August.