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Ryan Edwards: his smile and big heart will be missed



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Ryan Edwards (center) with his family at a recent Breast Cancer 3-Day Event. Photo submitted (click for larger version)
November 16, 2011 - By Joe St. Henry

Review Editor

The day he was born, Ryan Michael Edwards drew adoring attention. Weighing it at more than 12 pounds and nearly two feet in length, not only was he the big apple of his parents' eyes but also that of the hospital staff and visitors.

There was no doubt he would continue to grow into a beloved young man amongst his large, close-knit family and friends spread throughout Lake Orion and the surrounding area. His bigger than life personality was buoyed by his warm smile and genuine concern for others and their well being. Unfortunately, Ryan passed away on Nov. 9, 2011, at the age of 22.

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"No matter what he was doing, he always made sure others were good," said his father, George. "People would gravitate to Ryan and would simply feel better after seeing him."

Ryan's big heart guarded and protected, even if he was hurting himself. His mother Kris said Ryan never liked people getting picked on or having anything bad happen to them, especially those younger and smaller than him. He adored and looked after his younger sisters, Molly, Kiley and Emily, as well as his cousins.

"Ryan had a unique relationship with each of his sisters," said his mother. "But they all included plenty of love, admiration and pride that only a big brother could provide, even if they may not have always recognized it. He would play Barbies or Polly Pockets with them one day and then let them tag along fishing another."

The fishing skills he passed on to Emily and soulmate Molly McCubbin came from his Papa Keith Miller, who called him "Ryno". The two would spend many hours on the fishing dock at the family's cottage in Lake City, where Ryan's passion for the pastime was born. He drew the family's attention there, too, reeling in keepers all day long, capped by a bass he caught at age 10 or 12 that had to weigh five pounds, according to his proud father.

Those older than Ryan also enjoyed time with him. He could hold a conversation with people like an "old soul" according to his parents and relatives. From the beginning, his aunts and uncles, including second mother Aunt Kat, knew he was a special person with a big heart and curious streak that appealed to so many folks.

"Ryan made you feel like you were the most important thing to him," said his father. "You were as unique and special as the conversation."

His parents could not be more proud of their son, an amazing blessing to them and to his entire family.

"Ryan knew love, great love of a family, of an incredible group of friends and their families, and of a soul mate he found in elementary school and re-found just three years ago," his mother said.

Ryan Edward's obituary can be found on Page 18.

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