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Hundreds attend service for Ryan Myers

April 14, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Ryan Myers' family traced the arc of his young life -- from vibrant child to daredevilish adult to businessman in training -- at his funeral on Tuesday.

His father, LeRoy E. Myers Jr., a state delegate, said many knew Ryan as someone who lived full throttle.

The exterior was tough, but "underneath you had a sweet and tender spirit," LeRoy Myers said, speaking to hundreds of mourners at the Tri-State Fellowship church on Cearfoss Pike, near Hagerstown.

Ryan Myers, 23, of Clear Spring, died Thursday when he crashed his motorcycle on Md. 63. He was run over by a tractor-trailer that was pulling out of a truck stop.

His father said Ryan liked speed and excitement.

"If there are fast boats and cars in heaven, he's now driving a Lamborghini," LeRoy Myers said.

Amid stories, songs and slide shows, those closest to Ryan described his zest, his love of sports as player and coach, and his deep bonds with his family.

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"At the end of life, what really matters is our relationships" with family and God, said Pastor Dale Carver of Hagerstown Bible Church, who led the service.

Ryan loved his mother, brother, sisters and fiancée, and "wanted to be just like his dad," Carver said.

Ryan's mother, Lu Ann, said he told her he loved her whenever they parted. "And my response was always 'I love you more,'" which brought a slight grin to his face, she said.

She recalled not feeling well a few days before Ryan died.

"He said, 'Mom, if I could bear your pain, I would,'" Lu Ann Myers said.

Ryan's brother, Scott, said Ryan would have cried enough for 1,000 people if he were alive at the funeral. "That's how big his heart was," Scott Myers said.

LeRoy Myers said someone told him about his son standing in line at a bank. The woman in front of him had overdrawn her account, so Ryan deposited money for her, his father said.

Comparing Ryan to the apostle Peter, Scott Myers said Ryan wanted to please and had a genuine personality. "Ryan wasn't going to go to church and be a fake person," but gave his heart to the Lord, his brother said.

After Scott and Lu Ann Myers spoke, LeRoy Myers read aloud comments Ryan's two sisters had written.

Katie Myers wrote that Ryan stuck with her when her son, Aaron, was born and he promised to be fatherly to the boy.

"You were always there to pick me up and of course make me laugh," Katie wrote.

"Your heart was bigger than anyone I know," wrote Ryan's other sister, Jennifer.

She said she cherished the memory of Ryan putting together a play set for her children.

LeRoy Myers also read a Valentine's Day poem Ryan wrote to his fiancée, Brandy Kinna.

"If I pray for one thing, it's never to part," Ryan wrote as part of a heartfelt message.

As a boy, Ryan got hooked on sports, especially soccer, LeRoy Myers said. He liked skiing and snowboarding, "doing flips that would make us cringe," he said.

On a backyard trampoline or the Jet Ski he successfully lobbied to ride at age 10, Ryan "would always push everything right to the limit," LeRoy Myers said.

That included a fall of about 20 feet over the Potomac River's Dam 5 on a personal watercraft in July 2008.

When notified of the fall, without knowing if Ryan was OK, LeRoy Myers had a feeling his son had died.

Then, he talked to his son, who asked if he was mad.

"No, I'm one of the happiest men on Earth right now," his relieved father said.

In the last nine months, Ryan noticeably changed and expressed an interest in the family business, Myers Building Systems, his father said.

They made a plan and were going to work together as soon as the Maryland General Assembly session ended.

"Words can't express the pain that's in my heart," LeRoy Myers said. "It just won't go away."

Some of Myers' General Assembly colleagues attended the funeral, which started 11 hours after this year's legislative session ended.

Del. Andrew A. Serafini, whom Myers praised for his help since Ryan's death, said former Gov. Robert Ehrlich visited the Myers family before the service.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who was lieutenant governor under Ehrlich, attended the funeral service, Serafini said.

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