Forever loved and forever remembered

Forrest A. Ryan

Forrest A. Ryan

To the Editor:

As we say goodbye to 2016 and enter the New Year we would like to reflect back on the tragic loss of our 24-year-old boy Forrest A. Ryan, who lost his life on June 13, 2016 in a motorcycle accident in our hometown of Monroe, Conn.

On behalf of Forrest’s family, Robert Ryan, Jill Forrest Ryan and Austin Ryan, words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation for all that has been done to honor our son and brother.

As more than six months have passed we are all still in disbelief and our hearts are still shattered. However as it has been almost impossible to reach every person that has honored and supported our family during these last several months, we would like to extend a grand thank you to all of you.

Thank you, Chief George Lattanzi and all of the members of the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department, the Monroe Police Department, first responders and all other members of these organizations in surrounding towns; as well as all of our family, friends and coworkers around the world and any of those known and unknown. As the heartbreaking news was presented to our family, the moments the hours and the days ahead were comforted by so many. We are so grateful for the magnitude of honor that was displayed during the services that it has left our family, friends and our community so proud. Thank you seems so simple and yet not enough to express how deeply touched we are and how inspirational that week had been to us and to our entire community. He was given a legendary tribute and we thank everyone for your generosity your love and your support during this time of our loss.

A special thanks to Matt and Melissa Bittner and John Burtsche, amongst others, who provided a heartfelt and emotional, vigil and displayed several crosses at the site, Mark Lutz for working with Chief Lattanzi and for all of their support and leadership in orchestrating the details for Forrest’s funeral arrangements — including all of the food preparations provided by the Firehouse Grill.

Thank you Abriola Funeral Home and St. Jude’s Parish for making the services so heartfelt. Another special thank you to AJ Gallo for creating a remarkable GoFundMe account in honor of Forrest and our family and to all those that donated to the account. We are completely grateful and extremely touched by the generous outpouring of love and support from everyone!

To Forrest’s friends, thank you for all the fundraisers and extras that were done to support our family and to Al and Mike Cortina the owners of County Electric where Forrest worked, thanks to you and your staff for your donations and the years of experience and support you gave Forrest, you were all his family too.

Thank you to all of those who immediately made various monetary donations, provided flowers and food, sent beautiful cards and mass cards, shared stories, laughter and tears with us. Also, thank you to all of those that go to the cemetery and visit Forrest and flourish his resting place with beautiful flowers, greenery and memorabilia. It is always so beautiful and peaceful there.

We are so lucky to have brought Forrest into this world and to watch him grow and mature into the man he was. Although his life was taken too soon he lived and he laughed every day and he filled his days and nights. He had a contagious laugh and a bright smile and he was so full of zest. He was hard-working, dedicated and loyal and always available to lend a helping hand. He lived his life on the edge and he certainly had no fear, but his drive, his ambition and his accomplishments were so inspirational he left a mark on many of us.

We hope this message reaches everyone that has been a part of our loss, as it has been impossible to reach everyone that has been so wonderful to our family. We can only hope that if you read this, you pass it on to everyone that you know and take this as an extension of our families gratitude. As we continue to heal, we bless you and all of your families, It seems this time of year often reminds us of the things that we are grateful for — Forrest would never walk away from anyone who was in need of a smile, helping hand, a laugh, a pat on the back, a hug or a moment to show you care and you recognize them.

In honor of Forrest, we ask you to Please pay it back in this New Year. Resolutions come and they go, but please spread some kindness, recognize someone in need this year. Do it for Forrest.

Jill Ryan

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