(Written by Matt)

Ryan has an uncanny knack for interacting with people.  He can defuse an angry crowd, or make the saddest person laugh hysterically.  We have a friend who I only had a superficial relationship with for a few years; Ryan picked up that something was off and spent an hour with him, and he quickly opened up and became one of our closest friends.   And this is especially true watching him interact with kids – he knows what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.  Ryan tries to be understanding of everyone, and does his best to make the world (and the people) around him better.  He does his best to make meaningful interactions with everyone he meets, and this is especially true of the people he cares about.  Ryan has a big heart, and gets others to show theirs.

Our house is decorated with most of Ryan’s artwork, too; paintings, collages, photographs, and more fill the walls.  At a prior job he ran a large art program for people with mental illnesses, partnering with local galleries and museums.  And we frequently attend art/craft fairs, painting events, art classes… or just have an evening where we draw together.

Ryan also has an adventurous and playful side, and is always willing to try new things, with the people he cares about in tow.  He tested his fear of heights and the open ocean by going parasailing, and brought my sister and me along with him for the experience.