Jack Davis Ryan was a genuine, thoughtful, intelligent, selfless, adventurous and fun-loving young man who is deeply missed by all who loved him. Jack was born on February 12, 1998, and grew up in Kansas City surrounded by the love and support of a large extended family. He loved music, funny movies and tv shows, ultimate frisbee, the mountains, traveling, his three dogs and Taco Bell. He had the best sense of humor, biggest smile and was incredibly easy-going about life. Jack was a loving son, a kind-hearted big brother to his sister Ava, and devoted boyfriend to his girlfriend, Paige.
Jack graduated Rockhurst High School in May 2016. He received an academic scholarship to ASU and was planning to earn a degree in finance starting fall of 2016. Jack elected to stay in KC and postpone attending ASU after he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety that summer.
Tragically, Jack lost his battle with depression becoming a victim of suicide on February 27, 2017 – two weeks after his 19th birthday. Jack convinced himself that he had no other choice and everyone was better off without him. Nothing could be further from the truth. We painfully miss everything about Jack every minute of every day. Life will never be the same without him here. We tearfully struggle daily to understand Jack’s loss and we desperately wish he had reached out to anyone that day.
There are a thousand things that we would have done differently, if we had only realized. We would have carried Jack for his entire life if that’s what he needed. We supported him in every way that we knew how but it wasn’t enough to save him. Jack knew how deeply he was loved as we told him every single day, multiple times a day. Sadly, he could never see the beauty and greatness in himself as the rest of us did.
Our mission, in Jack’s memory, is to help raise awareness of teen depression and anxiety. We need to end the stigma that surrounds suicide so that other teens like Jack will choose to reach out for help. We feel passionately also about helping other parents learn to best support, love and talk to their teens. We pray that what we have learned through our tragic loss will help to save someone else’s child. And we pray that no one will ever feel the painful emptiness that forever remains in our arms and hearts without Jack here.
-David, Ava and Caryl Lynn Ryan “Forever Jack”