Dec 18, 2015 8:19 PM
EPPING- In front of a packed crowd at the Epping High School Boys Varsity Basketball home opener, the O’Day family unveiled a banner naming it the Ryan O’Day Memorial Gymanasium.
Ryan was just 28 when he died this past spring awaiting a second heart transplant. His mother Robin say he will always be remembered for how he lived his life.
“It was determined that no matter what, he was not going to sit in the sidelines of life, he was going to enjoy it to the fullest and he did,” Robin said.
Ryan graduated from Epping High School in 2005. His parents say you never would have known he was sick, he poured everything into his work as a paraprofessional, and coach of the Middle School Boys Baksetball team.
“He loved life, he loved kids, he was given a gift. It’s not something that you can learn sitting in a classroom. I just truly believe he was born with this gift, he was a magnet to children,” Robin said.
His father Tom says dedication to his students lasted up until his final day.
“He was at their play at the elementary school the night before giving them high fives, congratulating them, what a great job he did and the next morning he was gone,” Tom said.
His parents say it was in the days following his death that people in the community came up with the idea of naming the gym after him.
It was an emotional ceremony for the Tom, Robin, their younger son Brendan, Ryan’s girlfriend, and the packed room, as they honored the life of their son, brother, and coach.
“Long after we’re all gone, his name will be here forever in a place that he absolutely loved and a game that he loved so it couldn’t be more fitting,” Tom said.
His parents maintain the Ryan O’Day Memorial Fund for scholarships for high school seniors and athletic equipment for the schools.
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