Ryan was one of those people you met for the first time and the connection was instantaneous and effortless.  His carefree and selfless approach to life was mesmerizing to his family and friends.  Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Ryan had a childhood full of family gatherings and sleepovers with friends, all in the midst of watching the greatest sports dynasty to ever walk the earth...the Chicago Bulls. His Mom and Dad have vivid memories of a young Ryan being tucked into bed every other night with only one response:  "Mom and Dad...today was definitely the best day of my life."

Family, friendships, and sports were the cornerstones of Ryan's life.  He was an incredibly gifted athlete, particularly when he actually cared enough to apply himself!  During his time at Wheaton North High School, Ryan played golf and was a starting pitcher for the Falcons baseball squad.  Oddly enough, some of his friends might tell you that these weren't even his best sports (the man was freakishly good at ice hockey).  Whether on the course, field, rink, or court, his approach was selfless, always emphasizing the contributions of his teammates before recognizing his own. There’s no doubt he learned this priceless quality from his favorite movie, The Sandlot.

After high school, Ryan attended college at Northern Illinois University, most commonly referred to as NIU.  Similar to high school, people gravitated towards him in a very natural way.  Despite the hour drive, Ryan remained close to his high school friends.  There was something strange about growing up in our community...the friendships you made were everlasting. In many ways, Ryan was the glue that not only connected many friends, but also many different friend groups.

Unlike many, he never chased greed or worried about status.  That's what made him so genuine.  His father often reminded him that there's nothing wrong with paving his own path in life.  Furthermore, only he (Ryan) could truly identify which path was right for him, and it required patience, but his day would come in due time.   In 2015, Ryan finally settled into an account management position with Rhino Shield near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and wouldn't you know it was a close high-school friend from that tight-knit community who hired him.

In his spare time, Ryan enjoyed competition…no matter the activity. One day he would be playing in a rec league basketball game and the next would be an intense five-hour Monopoly match. His primary passion was showing off his creative side through artistic video montages and graphic illustrations.  illustrations. Some of his videos have been seen by thousands!

In the Summer of 2015, Ryan was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma brain tumor (GBM) – the same disease that has taken the lives of John McCain and Bo Biden.  When doctors shared this difficult news with Ryan and family – his parents asked him what he needed immediately.  His response:  a puppy. They happily agreed and adopted Shea who was by his side until the end.  Despite the grim diagnosis, he never let it get him down.

That September, Ryan was admitted to the hospital with his body fighting off viruses caused by a weakened immune system from the cancer.  Despite being in the hospital for six months he never lost his personality.  One of Ryan’s final Sundays was spent with his family and closest friends watching his beloved Bears dominate the Rams 37-13 and cracking jokes the entire game.

On December 14th, 2015, just shy of his 31st birthday, Ryan J. Hanrahan cashed in his chips for a greater reward in heaven.  He will be greatly missed but dearly remembered!

poem above credited to henry scott-holland

poem above credited to henry scott-holland