Obituary Ryan Patrick Hyland
Ryan Patrick Hyland, a lifelong student, bartender, and beloved community figure died on June 25th, at the young age of 31.Born in Oakland in 1986, Ryan entered this world before his intended due date, being eight weeks premature. Similarly, he left us the same way. Afflicted with epilepsy since his early years, Ryan would eventually succumb to this ailment. While at times it appeared that Ryan spent
his life fighting one challenge after another, he did so smiling with a perseverance and passion for life that seemed limitless.
Ryan desired to contribute to America’s story through military service. Inspired by his grandfather, Dr. Kenneth Borchardt, a former Apollo scientist and Naval officer, Ryan held civic duty in the highest regard.
This desire to be part of something bigger would manifest itself throughout his life. Ryan earned the rank of Eagle Scout, first as a part of Troop 32 in Santa Rosa, then later working with Troop 727 in Grass Valley. With the latter, Ryan completed a kitchen renovation for the Boys and Girls Club of Grass Valley. In 2011 Ryan joined the Freemasons (both Scottish and York Rite). This enabled Ryan to combine his love for people with responsibility, as he became the lodge’s treasurer. Other passions of his included running Tough Mudders with friends, researching family genealogy, and serving as a volunteer deputy with the Chico Police Department. If you knew Ryan, he never did any of the above in a superficial manner; rather, he poured his heart and soul into everything he undertook. That was Ryan for you.
Ryan loved his family dearly and was very accepting of each member’s idiosyncrasies. He had patience that seemed unfathomable at times whether he was helping with a technology issue, explaining a concept for the umpteenth time, or listening as one poured out grievances on a particular topic. Ryan’s good-natured temperament had a salvo effect both with family and friends. One could be certain of receiving a hearty greeting and a warm embrace from Ryan. Yet, he had a fierce loyalty to them as well and would come to their support or defense when needed.
In Ryan’s final months he found a wonderful woman, Katie, who along with her two sons equaled his capacity for compassion. They complemented each other and were truly soul mates in every aspect. Ryan cared deeply for Katie and her boys, and they were in the beginning stages of planning a life together. In addition to planning a family, Ryan completed a Master’s degree in Homeland Security at ASU earning a Magna Cum Laude. Ryan was never one to shirk from a responsibility or challenge, as he poured his heart and soul into earning this degree. He was passionate about his master’s project and the potential benefit it could bring to his community in terms of safety.
While Ryan had faith in God, he wasn’t involved in any particular church. Rather, his lifestyle attested to this faith with the kindness and caring he showed towards all. Ryan invited trust by welcoming others, respecting them, and treating them like the close friends they would inevitably become. He was a man that valued the communities he was in and the relationships they were built on.
Ryan’s life was not a dash of color but a paint splash of the Jackson Pollock variety. Reminiscing on the web of relationships in his life, Ryan wrote, “Thank you all for shaping me and molding me in one way or another. I would be nothing without you”. One person who played a significant part in Ryan’s life was his uncle Dr. Jeff Borchardt, an anesthesiologist residing in New Orleans. Besides spending time together traveling and just hanging out, Jeff was a sounding board and guiding figure for Ryan. Jeff understood Ryan and how to direct some of that passion Ryan felt towards life.
Ryan is survived by the following: his mother Kimberly Hammer, father Kevin Hyland, stepparents Karen Hyland and Dennis Hammer, brothers Jonathan and Nicholas, stepbrother Daniel, and soul mate Katie. Their lives will never be the same, as they have lost a part of themselves with Ryan’s passing. Churchill stated it best when he said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” That was Ryan.
A small burial will be held at Valley Memorial Park in Novato on Friday, July 6th for close friends and family. Valley Memorial Park is open daily for public visitation. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 7th at 3pm in Chico at Ryan’s favorite bar and workplace, Madison Bear Garden. All are welcome. Donations can be made in Ryan’s name to Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Thin Blue Line Foundation.
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