Cremation Society of Chittenden County
261 Shelburne Rd
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 861-3058
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Rebecca Ryan

1997 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Rebecca Ryan Obituary
Rebecca Ryan

Age: 20 • Burlington

A Short, Beautiful Life -

Rebecca Dale Emorey Ryan died in a rock climbing accident in the late afternoon of Saturday, September 16, 2017. Rebecca was climbing with friends at the Lower West Bolton Climbing area in Bolton, Vermont when the accident occurred. She was in her junior year at the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She was studying to be an athletic trainer.

Rebecca is remembered by all as an energetic, joyful, exuberant, and fun person. She worked hard to find the best in everyone. She loved laughter, dancing, hiking, biking, sunrises, Disney songs, ice cream, Austrian Chocolate, 3-minute planks, schnitzel, "big fluffy dogs," "Fergusons and Floofs," mountain mornings, farmers markets, and exploring the natural world -- from the Austrian Alps to the Andes to Alaska. Whether it was a homeless veteran at a Burlington's A New Place, a newbie GMVS soccer player, an Adaptive Skier, Becca sought personal connections, friendship and laughter.

Rebecca loved Christ and dedicated her life to him. Becca was Baptized in her adult faith on May 5th, 2015 during her Freshman year at UVM. She was an active member of the UVM Chapter of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship organization. Rebecca worked as an Adaptive Ski Instructor, volunteered at A New Place, an organization that provides food, counseling, and housing assistance to the homeless. Rebecca traveled during vacations from college to rebuild damaged homes in Baton Rouge and New Orleans in 2017 and 2016, respectively. In May 2017 Rebecca was recognized by the UVM Department of Student Life for her, "infectious optimism and leadership," with the Spirit of Service Award for service to the community.

Known to her friends as "Becca," she was born in Stamford, CT on August 15, 1997. An experienced outdoor adventurer, Becca worked summers in Alaska as a guide for Kodiak Raspberry Island Remote Lodge (2016), and for St. Elias Alpine Guides in McCarthy, AK (2017). Rebecca was a 2015 graduate of Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) in Waitsfield, Vermont. While at GMVS, Rebecca trained and skied competitively in the US, Latin America and Europe. Among Rebecca's notable achievements was a victory in the dual Slalom at the US U16 National Championships in Park City, UT in 2013. Rebecca also was midfielder for the GMVS Women's Soccer team. She was voted to the Vermont all-State team in soccer in the fall of 2013. Active in theater at GMVS, Becca is remembered for her performances as the hysterical Gingy in Shrek and the fabulous Babette in Beauty and the Beast.

Growing up in Knoxville, TN and, Missoula, MT, Rebecca developed a lifelong love of mountains and sports. In Knoxville, where Becca moved at the age of 9, she attended Sequoyah Elementary, then Bearden Middle School (BMS.) Rebecca studied dance, and violin, and competed in many sports. At BMS she competed at the State Level in Cross Country. During her Middle School years, Rebecca also skied for the Sugar Mountain Alpine Ski racing team, in Banner Elk, NC. In the Fall and Spring Rebecca was a midfielder and forward for Crush and FC Alliance travel soccer clubs. Summers, Rebecca competed on the Knoxville Racquet Club swim team. In Missoula, MT where she lived from age three to age eight, she attended Clark Fork School and Paxon Elementary. Becca began skiing for the little Grizzlies ski program at Missoula Snowbowl at the age of six.

Rebecca overcame major injuries twice during her athletic career. She suffered a broken femur and damaged patella in a downhill ski racing accident at Sugarloaf, ME her Junior year at GMVS. Her freshman year at University of Vermont, Rebecca suffered a double compound fracture during an indoor Rock Climbing competition. In both cases, Rebecca trained her way back from extensive surgeries, working through pain and therapy to find both physical and mental wellness. Rebecca turned her experiences as a recovering athlete into a career, enrolling in UVM's Health and Nursing School's Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP).

Rebecca had many friends whose lives she touched in myriad ways. Among those who knew and loved Rebecca were her friends at UVM's Climbing and InterVarsity Clubs; friends and colleagues at the University of Vermont Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP); friends of St Elias Alpine Guides and McCarthy; staff at Raspberry Lodge; the parents, staff, students, and alumni of Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield, VT; her friends from Knoxville Racquet Club; her friends from the Southern Alpine Race Association, and the coaches, parents and skiers from the Sugar Mountain Ski Snowboard Education Foundation; her friends from Missoula Snowbowl Ski and Snowboard Education Foundation, the players and parents of Crush Soccer and FC Alliance tournament teams, and the students and alumni of Bearden Middle School, the Sequoyah and Paxton Elementary Schools, and the Clark Fork School.

Rebecca is survived by her Mother, Martha Emorey Ryan and Father Ronald D. Ryan, and younger brother, Roland R. Ryan, all of Knoxville, Tennessee; her sister, Rachel Ryan, of Denver, Colorado. She is also survived by her Grandfather, Howard Emorey Ryan, of Bloomfield Hills, MI, her Aunt Lee and Uncle Glen Magyera of Plover, WI, her Aunt Kathy Emorey Anderson and Uncle Steve Anderson of Bettendorf, IA, her Uncle Ray and Aunt Betsy of Denver, CO, and Cousins, Reed and Carry Ryan of Dillon, CO and Tampa, FL, respectively; Erin Anderson of Minneapolis, MN, and Neal Anderson of Salt Lake City, UT; and Kyle and Jenna Magyera of Madison and Plover WI, respectively.

A celebration of Rebecca's life will be held at UVM's Ira Allen Chapel from 2 to 3 PM Sunday, September 24, 2017 with a reception to follow at the UVM Manor. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made using the following links: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at or A New Place at The Cremation Society of Chittenden County, a division of the Ready Family, 261 Shelburne Road, Burlington, is assisting Becca's Family with arrangements. To share online condolences please visit www.cremationso

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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Sept. 22, 2017
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