Thousands of people showed up to the wakes held Wednesday, Oct. 8 and Thursday, Oct. 9 to pay their last respects to classmate, teammate, friend, boyfriend and family member Ryan John McDonough also known as Roo. The 20-year-old criminal justice major passed away suddenly October 5th, but friends say his memory will forever remain in their hearts.
Born August 16, 1983 and raised in Amityville, Long Island, Ryan attended St. Anthony’s High School. At St. Anthony’s, Ryan was an active team player on the soccer and football teams.
High school Teacher Brother Shane Burke says he saw Ryan “as a beautiful and magnificent young man of extraordinary sensibility.”
Schoolmates describe Ryan as a lovable, fun living and honest person. Classmate from both St. Anthony’s and Quinnipiac, Amanda Ciurleo said it was amazing to see how quickly everyone from back home who were spread across the East Coast responded to Ryan’s death and made every arrangement possible to make it home for the services.
“I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have known him for the past six years. Ryan was always a heart-throb and you were guaranteed to laugh when in his presences. His familiar smile and laugh will be remembered always” Ciurleo said.
On the football field at St. Anthony’s, Ryan continued to be an inspiration and friend to those surrounding him. In his senior year, Ryan aided in bringing St. Anthony’s football team to win the championship.
“Ryan was a great teammate and friend … he always had a smile on his face and we knew we could always count on him on and off of the field” said Anthony Albano, a sophomore at Quinnipiac.
At Quinnipiac, Ryan got involved with the Rugby team, which is a student run team formed through the Law school. His nickname on the team was “Lodden” which is Norwegian for “hairy,” an inside joke within the team.
“Ryan was an absolutely amazing rugby player and there are very few people who played with the heart and intensity that he did,” said close friend and teammate Kevin Wagner. “He was at every practice and always gave 110 percent every time. Off the field he was a great friend of mine, so much fun to be around and to hang out with, always in a great mood and it always rubbed off on the people he was around. There was never a dull moment with Ryan. I considered it an honor to play by his side as teammates, and a privilege to have known him and had him as a friend.”
Wagner says a part of Ryan will always be on that field with him, as well as off. “He is one of the most respectable kids I have ever met and I will never forget him,” he said.
“Some say time will make all this go away but it is time that has taken my tomorrows and turned them into yesterdays and once again that rising sun is dropping on down and once again you my friend are no where to be found.” These famous words written by Ben Harper have been attributed to the loss all who knew Ryan have been experiencing.
Ryan’s parents said they want everyone to know how much Ryan truly appreciated the value of friendship and how much he loved being at Quinnipiac.
“Ryan was one of the best friends I’ve ever had” said Mike Silverman, a friend of McDonough. “My friendship with him stemmed back from orientation, and only grew from there. He was my roommate, my teammate on the rugby field and one of the best people I have ever known. I truly felt as if he was my brother and will never forget him”
Close friend Jeff Pannone, a sophomore, said, “Ryan McDonough (Roo, as we called him), was one of the best friends I have ever known. Ryan was one of the funniest, most considerate, and thoughtful people. He could put a smile on anyone’s face in any circumstance. I will sincerely miss him with all my heart, and will never forget him.”
One of Ryan’s close friends Emmanuelle Levantian, a sophomore, says Ryan will always be a part of her and she loves him and misses him deeply.
Sophomore Regina Ciccarelli, said that as everyone learns to deal with this painful loss “time will only make it easier for our hearts to heal.”
Although Ryan is no longer with us, his presence and kind heart will forever live on in within all those who love him.
“Everyone needs to remember to celebrate Ryan’s truly rich life and not dwell on his absence” said a close friend.
Career services located on dorm road will remain available for students who wish to seek counseling. Counseling services are available to any student in need. You may contact the Counseling Office at x8760 or stop by the Counseling and Career Center between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone needing services during the evening hours should either contact their Resident Assistant or the Student Health Center as counselors are on-call during the evening hours. Students can also email Julian Hartt at [email protected]