Bradford (Patrick) Ryan, his brother James, and Parents – Terry and Barbara were laid to rest Saturday February 12 2000 in Redmond Washington.
Pat a Long time stalwart of the Valley rugby club has been honored by naming the rugby club’s field after him. Hopefully this will help us remember a very generous rugby man.
Below you will find the submitted memories of Pat by his friends and those who’s lives he touched.
Dear Valley friends,
I’m deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Pat and his family members and share in your sorrow. I remember Pat well from my short time with you guys and enjoyed him additionally as a member of the elate front row club. I took great pride and joy in his match winning try he scored when we played together in the match against Seattle B ’95 or ’96 at some college ground with grass bank on one side. The way he drove over the line with low body position through thick defense epitomized the strength and determination I saw in his character. He struck me as a good man and I feel the loss also.
Please pass my condolences at the White Horse to all and I will share in your moment of silence in respect to Pats’ good memory.
Colin Stokes, New Zealand, former Kangaroo coach.
Fellow Friends and Family of Pat,
Pat was one of the first members of Valley Rugby that I had the pleasure to meet. When I arrived in Seattle, from Chicago, back in 1991, Pat took great strides to make me feel welcome at the Valley Organization. My first “project” with Pat was to attempt to refurbish an old scrumsled that was kept in a team mates garden for what appeared to as years. It was an awful attempt to make that rusty old thing usable again, but we were determined to complete our task.
We attended a few T-birds games that Fall/Winter. He was instrumental in showing me the sites around Seattle that first year. And for that I thank him.
On the lighter side, this memory will always stand out as a true ‘Pat-ism’ – Back in May of 1992, while traveling over Snoqualimie Pass to attend the notorious MaggotFest in Missoula, Montana, Pat glanced down at the floor board of the 10 passenger van he elected to drive and said…
“No wonder why I couldn’t get this thing over 45 mph, the parking brake was on all the way up the pass!”
He was a true rugger. The entire rugby community of the Northwest has truly lost one of their own. This tragedy will last a long time in our hearts and minds as we take to the pitch for our upcoming season
Thomas Eunson, VKRFC.
Dear Friends and Family of Pat,
Pat will always be the little bro I never had!! He had a zest for life and was quick with a laugh, smile and a beer. A true wild man with a soft heart. 1-4-3
Dear Valley Friends,
I was shocked and saddened Friday morning when I opened the Seattle P-I and found Pat’s picture staring back at me. I met Pat while I was playing rugby at Central Washington University. We took many trips together and went to several sporting events. He would keep watchful eye while the Central girls drank too much beer. He was the quintessential “big brother” friend.
I will always remember Pat’s generosity. Since I was in college, I was without transportation and perpetually broke. He frequently picked up the tab and let me borrow his car. When I was home on vacations, he would set me up to work with his dad. The last time I saw Pat, I had come home from school to begin student teaching. He took me to lunch, and listened as I talked about my plans for the future. I remember he gave me some advice that I didn’t want to hear. You were right, Pat . . .
May God be with You and Your Family,
One of the best memories I have when 1st coming to the north west and playing for the Jesters was when we played Valley. The jesters had there own Pat Ryan to match strides with their valley opposite. The expected occurred every time the two met on the field, ” Hello Pat Ryan, I am Pat Ryan”..”Why Hello Pat Ryan I am Pat Ryan”.It reminds of the great days of rugby when the game was hard hitting and tough, but was always a gentleman’s sport, where even during the heat of the battle, idle banter still found its place. The wild stories of the 2 Ryan’s being 4th cousins 17th times removed always left the door open for future episodes. I am sure they could have changed jerseys in a game and no one would have thought it strange, infact, I sometimes wish we could have!!!! I remember Pat, enjoying the game and his love of rugby as so many of us do, to lose him simply makes my love of the game stronger and memories of comradeship even more clearer. Its sad to lose such a young man in such a way, but pat where ever you are, get in touch with Roy Lucus, and some of the other we have lost and get a game going!!!
May peace be with you and your family.
John Chapman – Past President, PNRFU Referee Society
I would like to send my sincere and deepest condolences to Pat’s family and friends. Pat was a very friendly and out going person. Pat would always be there to take the time and help somebody out.
I’ll always remember playing rugby with pat. When I first played with the Valley Men’s side (previously I had played with the U-19 team) Pat was one of the first guys to remember my name as something other than “new kid.” Pat took me a side and explained what to watch out for and how the game differed from the previous level. Pat also tried to convince me into attending WWU and WSU. He went about in an interesting manner… play rugby against the school and then party like a rock star with the other team, which is a tradition, I have kept.
Pat was a rugger in every sense of the word. Pat truly embodied the spirit of rugby and Valley RFC. I take my hat off to Pat and his accomplishments through out life. Unfortunately, I can not attend the Whitehorse gathering… so please have one in Pat’s memory for me.
Former Valley RFC Player – Appleton, Wisconsin
Friends of Pat and Family,
The loss of someone you know is always a difficult thing to comprehend and in reality we never come to terms with it. The loss of Pat, his brother James and his mum and dad, Terry and Barbara, is a tragic reminder of how easily we can lose someone that has been a part of our lives. I know I hugged my wife and kids a little longer that day. I know Pat, James, Terry and Barbara are in a safe place meeting and laughing with other friends of ours that have touched our lives.
As the Valley coach for the best part of 10 seasons I had the pleasure of knowing Pat on and off the field. Pat was one of the first Valley players that I met when I came to the US back in 1989. I remember going to a thing they called the “Roo Ball” somewhere up in Everett back in ’89. I believe it was Pat who gave me directions. Some street number off I-5, 320th if I remember correctly. So after getting on I-5, in Federal Way, I travel north and get to MLK Way and start driving up and down MLK trying to find the hall. Eventually I stopped in a gas station and the attendant suggested that maybe it was 320 north. Thanks Pat, my first introduction to US Rugby directions. I finally get to the “Ball” and the first person I meet was Pat. Remember this is back in 1989, Pat’s metabolism was still working and he looked lean, well dressed and made a strong first impression on me.
Pat was always a very enthusiastic trainer, player and post game entertainer. He LOVED the game of rugby. Pat was an “easy” player to coach, he listened to what you had to offer and wholeheartedly applied this to his game. The cries of “on me boys” and “Mary, Mary” ring louder in my ears today then when I would hear Pat yell them on the pitch. Pat also “sobered” his post game entertaining which is another sign of the strength and courage of his character. Pat played the game to win but also realized that rugby was more than training and playing, there was a thing they called camaraderie. It is in this area where arguably Pat played his best games. He was well known and liked in the Northwest rugby circles. Pat made a point of communicating with the opposition after the game, to ensure the camaraderie aspect of rugby lived on. For this Pat, the game of rugby thanks you. Pat always went out of his way to welcome new members of our club and make them feel part of “the team”.
Pat, the tragedy saddens me immensely but the memories help ease the pain. Our late nights at IHOP with Mike, our morning reunions with Mike and Kay, the rugby, the road trips, the road trips again, the drink ups, the trip to Oz, the laughs with beers, the laughs without beers, your graduation, your smile, your laughter.
Pat, James, Terry and Barbara may God rest you in peace.
Pete, Rachelle, Ryan & Kyle Sullivan
P.S. Pat, give my mum a hug for me…….
It saddens me to send this message but incase you haven’t heard the tragic news then I hate to be the bearer of bad news. The UI Men’s rugby club has suffered a great loss in its fall 1999 coach. Pat Ryan, along with his family, was aboard the Alaska Airlines flight that crashed this week.
He carried this team last fall and kept our winning tradition alive despite the loss of many experienced old boys. Our team was smaller, younger, and less experienced then teams in the past and his new style of play brought the team the honor and wins that we have come to know. This is a loss to not only Idaho but all rugby in the northwest. His lost will felt in all our hearts and our prayers are with his family in this time of tragedy.
– Andy Oliver
Idaho Rugby Club President
UI Rugby coach among crash victims
By Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune
MOSCOW — They play for a unofficial “club” team, with scant funding and virtually no pipeline to the media. So news arrived to them slowly.
By Wednesday, however, the members of the University of Idaho rugby club had learned that their coach, Bradford (Pat) Ryan, had died Monday when Alaska Airlines Flight 261 plunged into the Pacific Ocean.
Ryan, believed to be 33 years old, had coached the Vandals to a surprisingly successful season last fall while taking classes across the border at Washington State. He graduated in civil engineering in December and was returning from a brief vacation in Mexico to his family’s home near Seattle when the jet crashed near Los Angeles, killing all 88 aboard.
Brian Fretwell, a junior flanker and co-captain for the Vandals, heard the news two days later. He and his teammates met for drinks that night, tried to sort out their emotions, and Fretwell spoke by phone to a longtime buddy and teammate of the coach. Then he began writing a eulogy of sorts, which he may recite at a memorial service next week.
“As a team, we only had a short time to know Pat Ryan,” he wrote. “But during this time, he took us in, taught us what he knew and treated us as he would his own family. His death came as a surprise to all of us, and no one knew quite how to react. Many times it takes losing someone to realize what he or she means to you.”
Also killed in the crash were Ryan’s parents, Terry and Barbara Ryan of Redmond, Wash., and his younger brother James, of the Portland area. Like many of the passengers, James Ryan was an employee of Alaska Airlines, an off-duty flight attendant. His friends in the company had evidently arranged the four-day Mexican vacation to celebrate James Ryan’s 30th birthday and Pat Ryan’s graduation.
Pat Ryan is remembered as a gregarious man who took rugby seriously and yet saw it essentially as a social sport. He had played rugby for Western Washington University and was later a member of the Valley Kangaroos of the Pacific Northwest League. He coached briefly at WSU before taking over the Idaho program last fall.
The Vandals were “in the rebuilding process and did not even dream of attaining a coach with his expertise,” Fretwell wrote in his eulogy. “With our old coach transferring for employment purposes and the loss of 11 starters, the season looked pretty grim and the idea of having a winning season seemed nothing short of a miracle.”
Ryan accepted the volunteer coaching job and “ran practice as if he was the drill sergeant and we were in boot camp,” Fretwell wrote. “The attitude of many of the players on the team at first could be described as nothing less than hostility and anger.” But the Vandals won their first game 69-0, breaking the club scoring record. They finished the season 4-1, the only loss coming by three points.
Keith Van Doren, a Renton prep rugby coach and a Kangaroos teammate of Ryan, said the Vandals had become an important aspect of his friend’s life.
“He was extremely proud of them,” Van Doren said. “He and I would carry on conversations late at night, and we would discuss different coaching strategies. He was nonstop talk about how successful his boys were.”
In speaking to Van Doren this week, Fretwell learned that his coach had been trying to set up jobs and housing for his graduating players so they could continue playing rugby.
“We will all miss him immensely,” Fretwell wrote, “for he taught us all what it meant to be a brother.”
On behalf of the men and women of the Pacific Northwest Rugby Union, we pass our most heartfelt condolences to Pat’s family and friends. Our nearly 1500 players and supporters, representing high-school kids just starting careers, to the old guys reliving stories (many including Pat), we stand with our heads bowed in his passing. Ours is a community a little less vibrant and rich today, with Pat’s absence. I know I speak for everyone who knew Pat (especially those lucky few who had the honor to strap on the boots in a match with him) that I hope he is at peace, and those grieving for his loss can find some comfort in the knowledge that his memory and his legacy will live on in everyone he touched.
Pacific Northwest Rugby Union
Dear Fellow Friends and Family of Pat,
I was shocked to hear the news Tuesday morning that Pat and his family were on board flight #261. My shock and disbelief soon turned into great sadness for the loss of one of Valley’s own.
Pat will always hold a special place in my heart. I have fond memories of him traveling to Ellensburg to visit us “Central” girls. He took great care of us, making sure we had a safe ride, even buying us a few pitchers, he was the best “big brother” I never had.
Pat was always willing to listen, offered some great stories himself, and was always willing to provide advice for my rugby game. One thing that will always stand out in my mind is his bellowing laugh, I always seem to picture him with a smile on his face.
I would like to send my sincere and deepest condolences to Pat’s family and friends. He will be deeply missed.
Friends & Family of the Ryans,
I will never forget the first time I met Pat. I had returned to the infamous WWU Warthog Annual Banquet as an alum, and had the pleasure of ‘sponsoring’ Pat (I think this signified the beginning of the end for his drinking days) for his “Rookie Rodeo”. We immediately hit it off and did our best to win every event. No one even came close in terms of intensity and all-out comedy. Need I say more?
Many, many more memories followed over the years. The Maggotfest & the “Magnificent Seven”, The first “Tour of the Colonies”, Pat’s immeasurable contributions to the many great reasons we are all, and will continue to be Roos, his always-positive attitude, and his enthusiasm for everything he committed to.
I was extremely happy that Pat had accomplished his goal of becoming an engineer. . . a task that I bailed on after the first year of pre-engineering courses. He truly accomplished in 33 years what most could hope for in an entire lifetime. I think he will continue to get the absolute-most out of the next step in his ongoing journey.
I only briefly met his brother Jim, and his dad Terry. I’m sorry now that I never had the opportunity to meet his mom. I sensed that this was a very close family, and in the spirit of Pat’s determination to see the positive in everything, the four of them will not have to grieve for each other.
His positive energy will live on and we are all better for having known him.
Pat Ryan was a true gentleman.
My brother Mike and I shared our home with Pat during the late 80’s and early 90’s. He spent so much time with us that we decided to make it official (i.e. charge him!). In effect I gained a second brother. I also gained quite a few guys from rugby — you never knew who would be in the living room on any given morning!! We even hosted a few Roo garage sales.
Any time I needed anything Pat was there. This especially was true during the snow storm of 89-90(?) I got stuck in Bellevue for 8 hours and by the time I got downtown to meet everyone at the Thunderbirds game after walking to the Seattle Center to find out it had been cancelled I had no idea what to do.
Pat answered the phone at our house on the first ring with “Kay?! Where the hell are you?” I told him and he said to wait right where I was and he would be there to get me. It took him an hour to reach me and three to get home. He was truly a haven in a storm and will be missed by many.
Kay Hill Cook
Friends of the Ryan Family!
I am deeply saddened by this tragic news we all received last week. I have so many fond memories of my time spent with the Roos in Seattle, all of it owed to Pat and the Ryan family.
Pat was the first Roo I met, he put me in touch with a great group of guys by organising me rides to Fort Dent for training and matches. It was Pat who organized my first job with his father at Copy Cat Printing, without which I wouldn’t have been able to stay in Seattle. I worked with Pat and Terry on and off throughout my time in Seattle, they were always willing to help, encourage and give advice. I have much to thank them for, they will be truly missed.
Christopher Thomson (Yappi)