Lorenzo "Rico" "Renzo" Velazquez emerged from the womb as a fighter and a winner. Weighing just 1 pound at birth, he defied all the odds that each healthcare professional spoke over his life. He was born June 22, 1998, the son of Rene Francisco and Gloria Velazquez. Not only was he told he wouldn't live through infancy, years later he was told several times that he wouldn't be successful in high school. "Rico" overcame that challenge too.
He attended Aspira Bilingual Charter High School and was set to begin an accelerated program at the Community College of Philadelphia. He was also planning to sit for enlistment testing with the Navy and the Marines.
Lorenzo had a passion for video directing and BMX bike riding. He was a rider sponsored by Animal Bike Company and Chocolate Truck, a Philly based team whose goal is to get kids off the street. With a beautiful smile from ear to ear, Lorenzo was always polite and respectful. He loved practicing and recording his bike tricks any chance he could, and he dreamed of becoming a professional biker.
Lorenzo's personal motto was "I am my brother's keeper." Where there was a need to be met with friends, family, and strangers alike, Lorenzo could be found lending a helping hand. "Rico" was (and still is) a young man of influence and impact. He was a natural born leader. Lorenzo was nicknamed "Soldier" by an uncle because he was strong and determined, and he also felt a duty to protect and to serve those he loved.
On September 1, 2017, Lorenzo passed away at the age of 19 leaving precious memories to his parents, Rene and Gloria Velazquez; grandparents Carmen and José Plaza, Inez Alvarez-Santiago, and Jorge Velazquez; siblings Joshua, Alonzo, Alondra, Gabrielle, Elijah, Jahira, and Erica; nephews Jayden, Julian, Jeremiah, Isaac, and Isaiah; and an abundance of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Even in death, Lorenzo's influence promises to endure among the people who knew him and had only heard of him. Mourners from the BMX biking community as far as California, as well as regional and Philadelphia area friends, have called and traveled to pay their respects to a young gentleman who lived well and impacted every person, place and thing he touched. His friends have adopted a phrase that will help to keep his legacy alive: L4R (Live for Renzo). Just as Lorenzo did, they are committed to moving forward in life with purpose and passion. L4R is an encouragement for all to never give up on their dreams and goals. Lorenzo, we all thank you for the inspiration.
A public viewing will be held at the In the Light Ministry Church, on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 6 pm. A service of comfort will start at 7 pm.
Cremation service will be held privately.