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McGilley State Line Chapel

12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, MO

OBITUARY

Ryan Van Garsse

May 28, 1986January 12, 2020

Ryan Van Garsse, 33, passed away peacefully after a long illness on January 12 surrounded by friends and family. Ryan’s childhood years were spent in Rye, NY where he graduated from Rye High School in 2004. His love of the outdoors was apparent at an early age; he’d spend hours traipsing through the small woods behind his home and exploring the various nature preserves and marshlands that dotted his hometown. When Ryan was eleven, he convinced his parents to send him to Colorado on a three week backpacking trip, where he fell in love with the mountains and vowed to return. And that he did, attending Colorado College then the University of Colorado in Boulder. After graduating with a degree in Biology ,Ryan moved to Denver where he worked as a field biologist for an environmental consulting firm. He truly felt he had landed his dream job, as he spent hours in the wilderness happily tracking the habitats of burrowing owls or recording the nesting activities of hawks. During his years living on the Front Range Ryan made the mountains his playground and immersed himself in every outdoor activity Colorado had to offer – backcountry skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, etc. - with a gusto, skill and stamina that was both impressive and hard to keep up with. Ryan was happiest in the mountains, and deciding he needed to be even closer to them, he moved to Steamboat Springs in 2011 where he worked as a ski instructor before joining ACZ Laboratories, an environmental testing firm, as an Analytical Chemist. Ryan embraced the mountain town lifestyle and enjoyed the camaraderie that comes from living in a community where enjoyment of the great outdoors is utmost priority. Ryan would routinely ski before work, opting to hike up the mountain before dawn rather than wait for the chair lifts to open. He became a skilled and passionate backcountry skier: many of his winter weekends were spent camping at the base of a mountain, where he would sleep a few hours before starting the arduous upward trek in order to reach the summit at day break. An avid mountaineer, one of Ryan’s lifetime goals was to climb all 58 of Colorado’s 14ers (mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 ft.). He came close to reaching that goal, summiting 46 of them. Ryan is survived by his parents, Karen and Jim Van Garsse (Leawood, KS) and his sister, Jessica Van Garsse (Oakland, CA), as well as a large extended family and even larger chosen family of friends, who are all forever changed by the gift of knowing him. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Ryan’s name to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (www.14ers.org)

Services

1 February

Visitation

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

McGilley State Line Chapel

12301 State Line Road
Kansas City, MO 64145

1 February

Celebration of Life

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

McGilley State Line Chapel

12301 State Line Road
Kansas City, MO 64145

Memories

Ryan Van Garsse

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Misty Looking Horse RN

January 17, 2020

It is unfortunate I only meet the most amazing individuals when a serious life limiting illness has been diagnosed and hospice services are initiated. Ryan was just that! He was a truly an amazing young gentleman. I thoroughly enjoyed my frequent visits with Ryan in his home. He was always so appreciative of everything that I and my team did for him! Thank you for sharing Ryan with us! I will always hold a special place in my heart for him! My thoughts and prayers are with Ryan's family and friends in this time of grieving.

Kathy Zaltas

January 16, 2020

Dear Karen, Jim and Jess,
Our whole family was so very saddened to hear about Ryan! We can not imagine the heartache of this deep loss for you!
You are in our hearts. What a special young man you describe him as! We remember him as an adorable little boy....may his memory always be a blessing for you!
Love, Kathy, Fred and Rebecca Zaltas

Wendy Griffith

January 15, 2020

Dear Jim and Karen,

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss of Ryan. I can not imagine your pain. I only hope that as time goes on this pain is overtaken by the many wonderful joyous memories you have of Ryan and hope they will help your through this tragic loss. You were great parents. Love, Wendy

Gary Holub

January 15, 2020

While I really didn’t know Ryan that well, I felt like I did because of his parents. I could see the love that had for him, and enjoyed Jim’s reports and stories on things that they had done. I know those memories will live forever for the whole family. Rest In Peace Ryan...
Gary and Felicia

Dianne Brady

January 14, 2020

All of Ryan's family members and friends are in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing each of you peace and comfort.

Sincerely,
Dianne Brady

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY