Ryan's Final Expenses

Ryan was in a tragic shooting accident on the night before his high school graduation in 2000.   For 16 years he was in a coma.  He went to be with God on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at the age of 34.  To all of us who knew him, he would always be 18. 

Ryan was a very special young man.  His caring and respect for others showed a maturity way beyond his years.  He worked in a nursing home and a care facility for the handicapped while he was in high school.  He deeply loved his clients and had planned on going into the medical field after graduation.  He developed deep relationships with all those that he cared for.  He would often buy the residents things that were not provided by the facility or that he felt that they needed out of his own money.  He once purchased shoes for a man who had lost a leg due to his medical condition because he felt that it was disrespectful to only give him hospital slippers to wear.  The man was deeply touched and very proud to wear his new shoe.  He would often go to visit the residents on his days off because he knew that they would appreciate a visitor.  

Ryan was a very good friend of my son's.  He spent endless hours at my home and I would often have to tell him that it was time to go home.  He had a gentleness and a very calming spirit.  He was also quite a practical joker and could keep the masses entertained with his amazing imagination and antics.  Sometimes the staff at the school was not so amused but everyone loved him.    My son said that he always saw the good in everyone and was a person who would encourage others to try new things and to always strive to be "better than you think you can be."  He was very humble and kind and always stuck up for the underdog.  Another one of his friends said that he had asked Ryan why he wanted to work at the nursing home and Ryan's reply was, "if I don't do it who will?".  This truly touched the young man and he said that those few simple words had changed his life.  Ryan inspired us all to be better people and to come to realize that our actions really can make a differenc in others lives. 

The family is in need of finacial help to pay for Ryan's final expenses.  They have saved for this inevitable outcome but the costs of the funeral and burial were much more than they had anticipated.  They have almost half of the cost but I am asking for the generosity of others to help them cover the other half.  

Ryan was always a very optomistic and loving person.  I am hoping that others will be as kind to his family as he was to everyone he came in contact with.  From the bottom of my heart I am asking for you to donate to help Ryan's family with this overwhelming expense during a very  sorrowful time in their lives.  

I want to thank you all for reading about Ryan, and whether you donate or not; I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And today when you are out in the world please do a act of kindness in Ryan's name and say a prayer for his family.  Ryan truly touched many and we hope that that legacy will continue on even after he has left this earth. 

God bless you all and God bless you, Ryan.  Fly free!


JoAnne Ovall
Astoria, SD

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