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Ian Lennon Ryals

March 13, 1985 ~ October 12, 2019 (age 34)


Fort McCoy - Ian Lennon Ryals, 34, passed away on October 12, 2019. He was born on March 13, 1985 in Fort McCoy, Florida to Howard Val (Tuna) and Shelley Robin Ryals. 

Ian never said no to an adventure. He backpacked through Costa Rica, traveled the roads of the United States and could make any normal day a remarkable experience. In his free time, he enjoyed disc golf, craft beer, music, writing, learning and Mario Kart. Most of all, he loved his family, his dog Solstice, and his friends. He was calm and collected, never letting worry enter his life. Instead, he embraced change, sought experiences and was wise by default. He knew that it was the simple things in life that mattered most and somehow, despite the complexities that arise in life, never lost who he was or why he was here. Always steady, friends and family turned to him for advice. He sought self-awareness and was one of the few who can say they never harmed another during his time here on Earth. Ian had a great family, a great love, and always gave more than he took from this life.  

He is preceded by his pop, Howard Val Ryals; his paternal grandfather, Vernon Howard Ryals; and his paternal grandmother, Odessa Williams Ryals. 

He is survived by his mother, Shelley Robin Ryals; sisters, Rachael Anne Ryals, Jessi Esther Ryals, Sarah Odessa Ryals and Natalie Lori Ryals; brother, Noah Nuke Ryals; and maternal grandparents, Bernie and Estelle Jacobs.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Countryside Funeral Home, Anthony, Florida.  A Celebration of Life will be held in Gainesville, Fla.

​Ian Lennon Ryals
​​ ​March 13, 1985 to October 12, 2019

“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it, our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.”
-Charles Linbergh

Dear Ian, 

This page should be blank, written many years from now when you were old and gray. But, that was not your fate so there is just one thing to say. 

Thank you. 

For choosing to join the Ryals' family on March 13, 1985. Firstborn son to Howard Val (Tuna) Ryals and Shelley Robin Ryals, who delivered you at home in Fort McCoy, Fla. by themselves. This was the first, but not the last, time your parents would bring life into the world this way. 

Thank you. 


You had the best of both parents. Determined and daring, ready for any path, like you pop. Kind and calm, always there for those in need, like you your mom. 

Thank you. 

Waiting for you when you arrived were two older sisters, Rachael Anne Ryals and Jessi Esther Ryals. Our first brother. You brought us laughter and truth in those simple days that will never fade away. You taught us to climb higher, play harder and never be afraid. 

Thank you. 

A big brother to Noah Nuke Ryals, Sarah Odessa Ryals and Natalie Lori Ryals. Two bothers stuck in the middle of four sisters, nothing in life could break that bond. To your younger sisters, you were everything a big brother should be — protective, reliable, funny, and a best friend at all times.

Thank you. 

A wanderer can never lose their way. Backpacking through Costa Rica, trusting in the sublime, a poet, an artist, a seeker, our wise Buddha brother. Your possessions were light but heavy with meaning. You knew that experiences matter most.  

Thank you. 

For simple days in this complex life. Stubborn and smart, steady and strong. You never worried about what could go wrong. 

For wisdom and wit and jumping without looking. You saw clearly the line between living and just being alive. Somehow, you always stayed on the right side. 

Thank you.   

Your journey on Earth has ended, your mission completed early, and now your next adventure begins. We will see you on the other side one day, where you will share stories and again lead the way. Until then, we will ask ourselves what Ian would do and act accordingly. 

Your family, friends, dogs. 


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