Our beloved coworker Ben was backcountry skiing last weekend (his absolute favorite activity) when he unfortunately lost his life in an avalanche. Ben's family has requested that donations in Ben's memory be made to the Summit County Rescue Group. We have started a gofundme to help gather donations from Ben’s POWER family so that Katrina can present this gift to SCRG. Ben would hate that we’ve started a gofundme on his behalf, but he would love that we are doing this to show our appreciation for SCRG.
Ben started as an intern at POWER Engineers in 2014 and was quickly hired as a full-time engineer after his graduation in 2015. During his time with POWER, we watched Ben grow from a curious SCADA engineer into a technical expert on wind farm control optimization. Ben was selected to present on this subject at WPRC and CIGRE, and was recently chosen as a 2023 RMEL Emerging Leader.
We are missing Ben's presence around the office. We miss his trademark laugh, his insatiable appetite for office leftovers, and the stories he told about his weekend adventures. More importantly, we will miss joining him on those adventures. Many of us stood on top of 14ers with Ben, raced his downhill mountain biking times on Mt Falcon, and followed his trench on the skin track. Ben was our beloved coworker. And Ben was our beloved friend.
Please consider leaving a donation for the Summit County Rescue Group and sharing your favorite story of Ben.
Benjamin James Ryan, 31, of Littleton CO, lost his life in an avalanche on April 29, 2023. Nature fed his spirit throughout his life, and it was in nature that he left this world.
Ben was born on March 27th, 1992, to Alan and Jean (Zavadil) Ryan in Iowa City, Iowa. Twenty months later he was joined by his brother and best friend throughout his life, Nathan (Nate). He grew up alongside and developed deep bonds with his many Ryan and Zavadil Cousins.
Ben attended City High School where he ran track and cross-country. He then attended Iowa State University graduating with a degree in electrical engineering. While at Iowa State he made many friends as a member of the Iowa State Running Club and as a member of a band named “The Bricks”. After graduation he moved to Lakewood, CO and worked at POWER Engineers, excelling as a control systems engineer specializing in wind farms. He recently received the 2023 RMEL Emerging Leader Award, recognizing him for making significant contributions within his organization and the electric energy industry.
It was at POWER Engineers that Ben met Katrina Lidgard the love of his life. He had found someone who shared his many passions and adventures and appreciated his eccentricities. She made his life complete.
Ben was an intense outdoors adventurer and shared his love of adventure with many friends and family. He climbed all of Colorado’s “fourteeners”, as well as the highest mountain in the lower 48 states, Mount Whitney, and the highest mountain in Mexico, Pico de Orizaba, and had his sights set on many more. He loved backcountry skiing, for four straight years he skied every month of the year. He continued his passion for running, completing the Pike’s Peak and the Moab Trail Marathons and a Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim run. In between all those adventures he enjoyed road biking, mountain biking, and dirt biking.
Ben was keenly intelligent, insatiably curious, and wonderfully creative. He was a talented musician learning to play the piano and violin as a child and later teaching himself to play the guitar and drums.
He was a self-taught accomplished Astro photographer, continually learning about the universe and capturing its immense beauty. He was a hobbyist car, motorcycle, and bike mechanic. He built his own camper for his mountain adventures, learning woodworking and sewing along the way. He also enjoyed growing vegetables and flowers in his backyard. Ben truly made the most of every hour of every day.
Ben was his own person; he did not concern himself with outward appearances, he focused on things that brought him deeper fulfillment and meaning. He had a calm laid-back manner, mixed with a quick, wry sense of humor. His smile and laugh radiating either pure mischief or pure joy will long be remembered.
He is survived by parents Alan and Jean (Zavadil) Ryan, brother Nathan Ryan, his sister-in-law Izzy Scoblic, and his love Katrina Lidgard.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Summit County Search and Rescue, the team who searched tirelessly to find and retrieve our Ben.