Friends, colleagues react to news of 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper's death - KPTV - FOX 12

Friends, colleagues react to news of 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper's death

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Rowdy Roddy Piper and Rob Powells, courtesy of Powells. Rowdy Roddy Piper and Rob Powells, courtesy of Powells.
HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -

Friends are colleagues reacting to the news of Rowdy Roddy Piper’s sudden death are sharing their thoughts on his career, friendship and legacy with Fox 12.

Piper and his wife Kitty lived in Hillsboro. He was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006, but was said to be cancer-free. Early reports unconfirmed by Fox 12 suggest he died of cardiac arrest in his sleep at his home in the L.A. area.

He is survived not only by his wife, but also four children. His son Colt Toombs also entertained on “Portland Wrestling Uncut” and is still pursuing a pro-wrestling career of his own.

Toombs posted on Twitter Friday: “My father @R_Roddy_Piper was a great man and my best friend I will miss him forever and will alway[s] try to be the man he raised me to be.”

Piper’s fellow WWE star Lenny Denton, better known to fans as “The Grappler,” told Fox 12 Piper’s death didn’t seem real.

“I’ve known him since I was 17-years-old and just starting wresting, he was like a mentor and he helped me along the way,” Denton said, adding that he had spoken with Piper’s family. “God bless his family, they’ve got my condolences 200 percent and Roddy was one hell of a man and a stand up person. God bless him, I loved him.”

Piper had a close relationship with the Rocket Fizz candy store company, which has locations in downtown Portland and Beaverton. Its line of Rowdy Roddy Piper soda and bubblegum were sold out as of Friday at the store in downtown Portland.

Company President and Co-Founder Rob Powells told Fox 12 he considered Piper one of his best friends, and the two spoke nearly every day.

They spent 20 minutes on the phone together Thursday night.

“He said he was tired and he’d give me a call tomorrow, and he travels a lot and he gets tired - we all get tired - and I said no problem, sleep well, I said love you Roddy, he said I love you too, man, and we just hung up. That’s how we always ended our phone calls,” Powells said over the phone from Lake Tahoe. “I’m absolutely devastated… It’s sad – it’s one of the saddest days of my life.”

Powells described Piper as a man of integrity with a huge heart and said his loss is a tragedy for the world.

“His family meant everything to him, I mean his wife and his kids were everything to him,” he added.

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