Ashburnham Funeral Home & Reception Centre
840 Armour Road
Peterborough, ON K9H 2K5
(705) 740-0444
Celebration of Life
Friday, May 22, 2020
12:00 PM
St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church
Wooler, ON
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Stephen Francis Ryan

1960 - 2020
Stephen Francis Ryan Obituary
A Teacher's Life a 'spectacular triumph' Stephen Francis Ryan leaves behind numerous family members and colleagues, students and friends. Steven graduated from Brock University (B.A.), followed by Simon Fraser University (Communications & Education) and College of Caledonia (Speech Therapy). He later earned a business diploma from Sir Sandford Fleming while pursuing an entrepreneurial path in the wellness and health industry. Stephen took great joy in helping others. He was dedicated to the science of speech, education and wellness; and he served at many schools, hospitals and privately throughout his career. He penned dozens of short stories and long-form non-fiction stories over the years. His greatest joy was his faithful companion, Loba, a well behaved German Sheppard, who went everywhere with Steve and will be with him forever. In earlier years Steve known for his wonderful imagination enjoyed the arts and in particular performing in theatre and writing. His passion led him to perform on the stage in Dracula at the Cedar Guild in Prince George and Fiddler on the Roof, Guys & Dolls and Hello Dolly in Peterborough. He was also a gifted actor and writer, dedicated to learning and sharing all he could with his students and friends. Steve grew up in Ennismore, Ontario. His life journey took him to British Columbia and the Yukon; followed by a teaching opportunity in the James Bay area where he enjoyed his students and was inspired to study Cree in his 20's. He travelled to Kuwait in 1989 to teach English. Here he experienced firsthand the impact of the deplorable human rights abuses that would fuel his fierce championing for education over the course of his life. He returned to his rural roots to reside on Chemong Lake in Bridgenorth. Steve enjoyed nature, cycling, swimming and life on the lake. He attended elementary school at St. Martin's (Ennismore) and Chemong Public School (Bridgenorth). His dedication to sport led to the achievement of outstanding status in gymnastics where he competed to earn the second place overall in Ontario provincial standings at the university level. At the age of ten Steve beat the odds and survived life-threatening injuries in a snowmobile accident. His recovery touched his soul and impacted the man he became who emanated respect, justice and appreciation for all life. Many of his creative works were inspired by his deep appreciation for nature and community. Few things could slow Steve down as he used his endless energy in summer to cycle and he was a year-round member of the local fitness centre. He pursued his personal fitness with vigor to the end and encouraged others to take the time to keep fit and well. Steve brought love, joy, truth and fun into the lives of everyone he met and to anyone who read his works or enjoyed jamming with him on the guitar or harmonica a true sense of his sharing nature. He will be remembered by many he inspired to reach higher with their own journey and for his politeness, quiet reserved nature, quick smile and kindness. A dedication for Stephen... "Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value." Albert Einstein Forever in our hearts. Stephen passed away suddenly in Peterborough on January 27, 2020 in his 59th year. Dear son of the late Richard Ryan (step-mother Lorraine) and Monica Ryan (nee Monaghan). Brother of Gregory Ryan (Lori) of Woodview, Debra Ryan (Joe Sparling) of Whitehorse, Yukon, Terry Ryan (Rea) of Elora, Ontario and Kathryn Ryan of Chilliwack, B.C. Predeceased by dear brother Garry Ryan (2013), father of Michael Yaskowich. Step-brothers Kenn and Craig Watson and step-sisters Heather Watson and Terri-lynn Watson-Funnekotter. Stephen will also be missed by special friends Judy Collins and Joe Hickey, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and all his friends and acquaintances across Canada. A celebration of Stephen's life will be held at noon on May 22, 2020 at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Wooler, Ontario. If desired, donations in memory of Steve and thanks to all first responders can be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada www.heartandstroke.ca or Peterborough Humane Society Animal Services www.peterboroughhumanesociety.ca
Published in The Peterborough Examiner on Feb. 21, 2020
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