My son Ryan
Ryan Theodore Boone
  • 20 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 30, 1996
  • Place of birth:
    Bellevue, Washington, United States
  • Date of passing: Jul 30, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    SEATTLE, Washington, United States
Ryan lives in our hearts forever.

Ryan was born in Seattle on March 30, 1996 with a curious mind and a stubborn, generous spirit.  He is deeply loved and respected by his friends and family for his loyalty, compassion for others and his quick-witted sense of humor. 

Ryan loved musicals and enjoyed many at the Paramount, the 5th Avenue Theater and numerous community theaters across the state of Washington.  After each performance, he always personally thanked the stage, sound and lighting crew because he felt their important contributions were overlooked by others.  He loved the musical The Book of Mormon.  He knew every song by heart and his infectious laugh punctuated the performance at the Paramount.  One of his favorite memories was when the couple seated in front of him left early because he and his dad were laughing so hard and the couple didn’t get the jokes.  Even though he couldn't carry a tune, he often belted out the songs in a loud voice very early in the morning.  Hasa Diga Eebowai!

Ryan attended St. Joseph School K-8 where he played soccer and basketball. In the classroom, he was always the guy who raised his hand and had something to say.  At graduation he was recognized by his teachers and classmates for his example of deep and honest caring for others.

Ryan attended Seattle Lutheran High School where he was a stage hand and actor in numerous plays.  He loved to independently research controversial issues so that he could make the strongest arguments in classroom discussions.  His daily announcements over the school intercom will be remembered for their humor and ability to start the school day right.  While at Seattle Lutheran he volunteered as “the help desk” for a nearby retirement home to help residents with their computer problems.  He was a self-taught technology pro who built his own computers from scratch and was patient with those who were technologically challenged.  He willingly spent hours researching solutions for friends and family.

Ryan loved history and his shelves were filled with a wide range of titles that mirrored his curiosity about the past and how it informed the current state of affairs.  His most recent passion was how World War I changed the map of the Middle East.

Bernie Sanders was his favored candidate in the 2016 election and he was one of the first to “Feel the Bern”.  He was proud to be a precinct delegate for Sanders and was quick to hand out his bumper stickers.

He loved photography and took incredible photos on his adventures to Crater Lake, Yellowstone, and Yosemite.  He also loved to capture storms, fireworks, and random beauty he saw around him.

He worked at Lakeridge Swim Club for many years as a lifeguard and assistant manager.  He was legendary for his friendliness, humor and vigilence.  For several years he swam for the Lakeridge Swim Club Dolphins swimteam and twice received the team award for "Most Inspirational Swimmer". The kids at the pool all knew Ryan and loved how he joked around with them, even when he was telling them to "stop running!"

One of Ryan's greatest achievements was going sky diving.  He said it was the greatest thing he had ever done.  He said he had no fear and loved the rush of the air, beauty of being up so high and being able to see forever. 

On behalf of Ryan's entire family, his dad would like to thank the many medical professionals who did their best to address his physical and mental health challenges, especially Dr. Seth Curtis at Swedish Family Medicine who was the first physician that could help him manage a chronic physical medical condition which plagued him for many years. 

His family also thanks John Knierim, Director of IT for St. Joseph School in Seattle who fostered in Ryan a love of computer technology.  Special thanks to Sue Bucher, the manager of Lake Ridge Swim Club Pool who served as a mentor and friend to Ryan throughout his years working there.  Ryan wants to recognize his theater teacher at Seattle Lutheran, Meredith Zandi, for encouraging his love for all things theater- -break a leg at your next performance, Meredith!

Ryan enjoyed a recent trip to his grandparents, aunt and cousins in Boise.  He was able to spend hours with his Grandpa Bud talking about his grandfather’s long record as a fighter pilot, his numerous awards for valor and other achievements both during and after his Air Force service.  When Ryan returned to Seattle, one of his first comments was, “Grandpa Bud is a hero.”  He quickly added, “Grandma is a pretty strong woman.”  Both are true.

His mother Karen, brother Kevin and his sister Kelsey love him deeply and will hold him in their hearts forever.  Ryan appreciates the love and support of his aunts, Susan, Monica, Kathy and Kim; and his uncles David and Bill throughout his life.  Ryan had an especially close relationship with his Grandpa Bob who was a constant source of strength.  Bob's love was one of Ryan's greatest gifts.  Ryan lives on in the hearts of his entire extended family.

His Dad’s life partner, Nikki, also lost a child and joins him in the intense grief that only a parent can feel when nature reverses the natural order of death.

Ryan died by his own choice on July 30th after a long and courageous battle against depression. He searched for answers and cures in books, in family, in friends, in work, in school, in life and in his heart and mind. The answers never came and he found no cure in life.                                                                  

We value every day that Ryan was, and still is, part of our lives. His kindness, curiosity, loyalty and spirit will never die.  His much loved dog Annie wonders why he’s not coming home.  So do we all.

Ryan would appreciate that donations be made to the Paramount Theater, St. Joseph School in Seattle or the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Greater Seattle Chapter.

Steve Boone
aka Ryan's Dad
19128 112th Avenue NE
Apartment 2-639
Bothell, WA 98011 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Raina Johnston/Powers on 9th August 2016

"I am so sorry Steve...I know I only worked with you for a short time many years ago, but some of my family members have suffered from depression too.  I wish more could be done for the people we love. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.  Please know you are not alone."

This tribute was added by Christopher Miller on 9th August 2016

"I taught Ryan,and all the Boones. I come from a family that has dealt
with depression. I remember Ryan as a 6th grader who was  kind to his classmates. Ryan,you will be missed."

This tribute was added by Sean Peterson on 9th August 2016

"Even knowing Ryan for almost my entire life I can't find a single negative memory as deep as I try to reach. I can't even remember a time when Ryan's name wasn't paired with an exclamation point and a smile. He made all those around him feel loved, comfortable, and most importantly happy. They say the biggest smiles hide the most pain, but that same smile brought so much happiness. I wish our smiles could have been a little brighter for him to feel the same. Rest in peace Ry, you will never be forgotten."

This tribute was added by Jennifer Moyer-Taylor on 9th August 2016

"My heart aches for your family.  Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.  Ryan was such a kind and caring soul at St. Joe's.   He will be so missed."

This tribute was added by Jason French on 9th August 2016

"Our thoughts and love are with you all during this time. Sending you our and support, Jason, Elly and Peter"

This tribute was added by Meg Wolfe on 8th August 2016

"We continue to be heartbroken at this loss and will hold you all in our prayers. The Wolfe Family"

This tribute was added by Peter Richards on 8th August 2016

"Ryan, Your leaving us came as a shock. Deep grief and sadness overtook me even before I could name it. While I didn't know you well, I had the idea, that like other kids I met and liked along the way, I’d be standing in a check out line someplace and I’d hear some call my name. I’d turn to look into the face of a man whose wonderful smile would’ve quickly given way a happy reunion with the boy I once knew. Nate and Kevin were friends, and through them, I became friends with you and your family. It was your smile that assured your place on my “special guys” list—a smile so big it occupied your entire face, melting even the most stoic among us. I’ve read that your journey was not without struggle. Yet, in spite of that, you were passionate about the things you loved and pursued them with all that you had. (Inspiring to those of us who’ve forgotten that life’s a heck of a lot richer when passion and going all in are attached to it.) Some years ago, as hard as I tried, I couldn’t reconcile why the God of love seemingly looked the other way while the young died way too soon. I went to my parish priest with this question. He told me he believed that God took us when in His eyes, we were perfect—a perfection outside the narrow lens of our experience beyond our understanding—a nano-second in which God saw His perfection in them—all that He meant us to be. Looking back now, I'm thinking that what I saw in that sweet face—in those blue eyes—was the glimmer of His perfection in the making. Peter"

This tribute was added by Scott Peterson on 8th August 2016


Debbie and I are so sorry to hear about Ryan.  I will always remember him as the energetic little boy running with Mitchell at Y Guides camp.  I hope you both heal from this.  

Scott and Debbie"

This tribute was added by John Knierim on 8th August 2016

"As I look at Ryan's pictures and think about our many interactions. I can only ask why would such a good-hearted young man, with so much potential take his own life? He was smart, friendly, and very easy to be around. It makes no sense. Ryan, I wish I could have said or done whatever was necessary to pull you out of the hole you were in. I know you have found peace now, but the rest of us are left to feel the emptiness in your absence."

This tribute was added by Tom Peterson on 7th August 2016

"Its been a few years since Ryan and Sean ran around the soccer field together and even more years since we all played life and death in the
forest, climbed walls, and shot arrows together at Y-Guides campouts. Ryan was  full of enthusiasm, creativity, and thirst for adventure. There were struggles even way back then, but Ryan fought through it and achieved great things in his brief life.  Ryan was a champion.  We will miss him but always cherish the gifts he gave us."

This tribute was added by Andrew Rice on 7th August 2016

"Ryan, it's been just over a week since you've left us and I know I'm not alone when I say that you are loved and missed deeply.  Despite living thousands of miles away, you in Washington on the west coast and me on the east coast, I always cherished my time with you, your siblings and parents, even if those encounters happened far less frequently than I would have liked.  I remember fondly our times at Ma Betts and Grandpa Bud's floating the Boise River and white water rafting with all the cousins, aunts and uncles.

In later years, I remember you sharing more about yourself with me during one of our recent trips to Boise, where I was struck by the incredible curiosity you had for history, but even more impressively by the depth of concern and compassion with which you held for others.  

I am humbled and moved by you allowing me into your life by sharing with me a glimpse of the challenges and struggles you were enduring in your final months with us and deeply saddened by your passing.  

Your life and story remain as a powerful testimony to me personally in the helping profession.  You remain in my thoughts and prayers that you are at peace and can recognize the depth to which you are loved."

This tribute was added by Cole Fisher on 5th August 2016

"Ryan its hard to believe that the world has lost  someone as good and generous as you. You were always the soldier when we were younger. But you don't have to fight anymore. I hope that one day I will have the privilege of seeing you again. We love you."

This tribute was added by Ceil Surbrook on 5th August 2016

"Words will never be enough to express the sorrow we all feel for your loss.  I have thought of you and Ryan so much the last few days and the one thought that keeps resounding over and over is "Ryan is at peace".  Your peace will be slow but hopefully, Ryan will help guide you there.  Please know that the warm white light of love is surrounding you and keeping you safe...Ryan is making sure of that.  His spirit will be with you always.   Sending Love, Steven.  
  Aunt Ceely"

This tribute was added by Lisa Surbrook on 4th August 2016

"We are so sorry for your loss. Ryan sounds like he was an amazing young man who touched the lives of so many. Our thoughts are with all of you during this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Elizabeth Boone on 4th August 2016

"How we miss you!  And we will continue to miss you -- on the anniversary of your birth,  the anniversary of your death, and any thought of  what might have been.  Despite our great loss,  we will cherish what was.  And, there is so much to cherish.

I envied Bob and Lil  because they were able to share so much of your life.  But Grandpa Bud and I remember good times with you in Seattle, and in Boise -- trips to all the great spots in the Seattle area, playing Kings in the Corner and the one Lil consistently won (something to do with the queen of spades?)  

Boise had some specialties -- floating the Boise River in the summer, ski trips with your Dad one winter, more games, white water rafting, and a wonderful day at a theme park where we played miniature golf and some arcade games.  

You may or may not have  had lasting memories of the cruise to Alaska.  You and Kevin made splendid pirates (complete with eye patches, swords, and bandannas) and thoroughly enjoyed the swashbuckling aspects of piracy.  One day you saw Grandpa Bud and me with Kelsey -- and it didn't sit well.  You were far more accustomed  (and comfortable) seeing her with Bob and Lil.  You didn't hesitate to tell us that your Mom and Dad were wondering where she was and we needed to take her back right away.  You remained a protective brother to your sister.

You were smart, funny, brave, and most of all -- kind.  When you said grace before meals you always remembered the people and causes overlooked by many.

I am grateful for your visit this past spring.  I saw you smile a lot and I could see you were having a great time with Sue, Alex and Phil. That is a precious memory for Grandpa Bud and me.  Grandpa Bud appreciated that you were interested in the stories of his life -- and you were a very good listener.

In an age of so many medical miracles, I am impatient for a cure for depression.  It will come.  But it hasn't come soon enough. I comfort myself by knowing that you have been welcomed into eternity by a loving God, who has embraced you and now provides a peace that you did not find on earth.

I pray that the loving God who has welcomed you will extend those same loving arms earthward and heal the broken people who mourn the loss of you.  Much love from Ma Betts and Grandpa Bud"

This tribute was added by Lori Guzzo on 4th August 2016

"A beautiful and loving tribute for a fine young man whom I will always remember for his kindness and thoughtfulness of others.  Rest in peace Ryan."

This tribute was added by David Boone on 4th August 2016

"Ryan will be missed and I am thankful that he left me with indelible memories.  I will always remember his wonderful smile and inquisitive mind.  He was always a bright shining light that would illuminate a room.  Reading the stories that others have written only confirm the strong, adventuresome, courageous, kind, and insightful sole he was and will always be on our memories."

This tribute was added by Linda Scott on 4th August 2016

"Words are inadequate to express the sadness that I feel for the Boone family and all others whose lives were touched by Ryan. You are all in our thoughts and prayers."

This tribute was added by sheree fisher on 4th August 2016

"Oh my God,  We are so overwhelmingly sorry for your loss!

This is a letter I wrote to Ryan upon his 8th grade graduation.  I think it provides a window into the way that those of us who were fortunate enough to know him at St. Joseph appreciated his wonderful spirit and beautiful personality.  

May 28, 2010

Dear Ryan,

Congratulations!  You did it!  You are graduating from 8th grade and you have accomplished wonderful things.  You had an amazing year.  I remember the fall, when you courageously defended the St. Joes goals, through wind, sleet hail and rain, like Superman! You carried that burden alone and no one could have done a better job.  We were all in awe of your bravery and your perseverance.  I asked Mr. Fisher to tell me how he would describe you and he said, “Courageous,  Truly Courageous.”  This trait is something that the world needs.  I can’t wait to see how God uses this gift that he has given to you.   I remember the end of the soccer season, when you made the slide show for the soccer party and how you included everyone.  Just like your dad, you celebrated and included everyone.  And I could tell that you had worked on it for hours.  This is what impressed me the most.  You have a really good and kind heart.  This is also something that the world needs.  The way you are with others brings them peace.  What an important contribution you make to the quality of everyone’s life.  I remember the winter, when I was looking over the Prep acceptance list and saw your name, and how excited I felt that you might be here.  Not because Prep is great, but because you are such a gift, for any school to have.  You are exactly the type of person with whom I would want my son to journey through high school.  I remember waiting to find out if you would come and how excited my family felt when you wore your T-shirt to our house!   I remember talking to your father, and how he knew that you belonged at a challenging school because you are so bright and so strong.  Your parents have so much pride in you, and so much faith.  You deserve that, you have earned it.  Finally, looking back, I remember that you have always provided such a confident peacefulness presence.  Your smile and the light in your eyes make everyone feel secure.  This, in fact, is your greatest gift, from my perspective.  This is the gift that undoubtedly has carried your family and your friends though many trials.  I am sure that your family was grateful for this gift as they struggled with your brother’s illness at Christmastime.  This peacefulness in you, this still water, deep and strong presence will serve you well through life. And it will serve those who travel with you, as it serves them now.  

The next four years will be full of amazing things.  You will experience all kinds of new joys, and freedoms, and you will grow intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually. As I told Cole, some of this enrichment will come from things that cause you a degree of pain.   I wish I could say there is a way to avoid a scar from high school, but there is not.  The fire, however, will only make the gold that is your heart become brighter, as it provides challenges that enable you to find more strength in God, your family, yourself and your gifts.   You will not face the difficult times alone.  You have an amazing family and friends who really care about you.  We will all be here for you.  I will be here in the President’s office, if you forget your lunch money, or need anything.   Our house will be your house whenever you want it, and Cole will be your loyal friend in this journey.

Have a wonderful summer.  You deserve it


Sheree Fisher"

This tribute was added by James Scott on 4th August 2016

"I did not know Ryan, but your tribute brought him to life in a beautiful way. Ryan left a remarkable footprint and he will be missed by all he touched. You have experienced every parents worst nightmare, I pray for your peaceful acceptance of one of Gods' mysteries that confound us.

Linda and I send our love. My mother inscribed a perfect thought from Timothy on my brothers Headstone " I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the Faith" Rysn is certainly in a better place."

This tribute was added by Nikki Wyer on 4th August 2016

"Your Dad loves you and he holds you in his heart forever. He misses you every minute, every day. He remembers your kindness, your company, your searching mind, your love of family, and he knows those memories will always live."

This tribute was added by Sue Boone on 4th August 2016

"I love you Ryan.  I am so thankful for the time I spent with you.  Who can I call now?  Thanks for the calls.  Love you forever!!!"

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Steve Boone


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