Ryan George O'Connell

October 10, 2004 ~ August 9, 2022 (age 17)


Ryan George O'Connell

10/10/2004 - 8/09/2022

Place of Birth: Redmond, OR 


Parents:  Gary and Laura O'Connell

Siblings:  Jack, Claire, Charlie, Clyde and Gus O'Connell


Ryan George O'Connell was born into a big Catholic family, the second of six children and also the largest.  He weighed 9 lbs., 6 oz. when he was born in Redmond in 2004. Ryan was born 10 days late; tardiness is a trend that would continue throughout his life.  We remember him with a constant smile on his face almost from the day he was born.  He immediately became the sidekick to his older brother by 2 years, Jack. Ryan's four younger siblings followed and he became their beloved big brother.  Ryan had a penchant for making messes, breaking things and making holes in walls. Ryan made messes and broke things on his own; his brother Jack may have been involved in putting Ryan through a wall or two.  Ryan was a bull in a china shop around the house.  Ryan could make a massive mess with amazing efficiency--it took little to no effort.  A lasting memory of Ryan is his signature arrivals at home where the sound of the front door could be heard being slammed shut followed by a level of noise you would expect from a tornado as he dropped his clothes, pack, and gear. 


Ryan lived for the water.  He enjoyed and excelled at swimming, diving, boogie boarding, body surfing, river surfing, wake surfing and fishing.  While the cruel irony of Ryan's passing in a shallow swimming pool is haunting, he exited this world in the place he loved to be:  water.  


Ryan's early years were spent in Redmond where he attended St. Thomas Academy.  Later, his family moved to Tumalo and Ryan attended Tumalo Community School.  In 2015 his family moved to NE Bend and Ryan transferred to Sky View Middle School before attending and graduating from Mountain View High School in 2022. Ryan was looking forward to attending Montana State University in Bozeman this Fall. His boxes were packed in advance and he had already formed a friendship with his soon to be roomate from Alaska.  A lasting characteristic of Ryan is that if you met him, you would remember him and, if you met him, he was your friend.  


Ryan's family remembers a fledgling screen printing business he started in middle school; he designed and ordered shirts under his company, RyanCo, with the Mandarin characters for the word "Unstoppable".  While the business was short lived before Ryan moved on to his next venture, the enduring theme "Unstoppable" was emblematic of Ryan's life.  He was unstoppable not in a win or lose or competitive sense but rather in his pursuit to enjoy life to the fullest and for the eminent happiness he naturally found and conveyed in all aspects of life--every day.  Those who knew Ryan found, in his friendship, promise, hope, laughter, anticipation, and an unbreakable connection. Ryan left nothing on the table in his all too short life. He lived "Unstoppable".


Ryan admittedly was a procastinator.  At the time of his passing, he still had not finished his thank you cards from his high school graduation in June despite his parents' strong urging. It was not because Ryan was not grateful--he was.  Rather, he simply moved on to his next adventure, always living in the moment. Since his passing, several thank you cards have been returned in the mail for the wrong address, and we discovered others that hadn't been sent.  Thanks to Ryan's younger sister Claire for completing this task in 30 minutes. Ryan was a very respectful young man, albeit an unconventional one who followed his own path.  He clearly viewed the world in his own way, with unlimited curiosity. Ryan never hesitated to act on his curiosity and pursue the next experience.


Ryan never had a bad day. He lived every day as if it was a gift, because it was. He lifted others up in the same way, not only through his words but through his actions, behavior, and genuinely enthusiastic demeanor.  When he returned home, he always spoke glowingly of his friends and relationships he was so proud of regardless of their background or differences.  His love of lacrosse at Mountain View High School was evident.  As much as he loved the game, he loved his teammates and their families even more.  He was passionate about his involvement in Young Life and shared many positive experiences about his relationships there with friends and in particular his Young Life Leader, Justin. Ryan spent a great deal of time river surfing in the Old Mill District, enjoying the camraderie of his friends there as they rode the wave constantly, whether it was 5AM or midnight. More recently he worked at Tetherow Sport where he quickly became friends with his new coworkers and bosses alike.  


Ryan's family is eternally grateful for the outpouring of support during this difficult time. Ryan loved others and was dearly loved as a son, sibling, and a friend.  Despite the tragedy, it is understood how blessed and fortunate the O'Connell family is to be a part of this compassionate, giving community.  Ryan left this life far too early, but his family is proud that his gifts and inspiration he provided in life now continue after his passing in another form: Ryan's choice to donate his organs to others in need at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland. 


Ryan is survived by his parents Gary and Laura O'Connell, his siblings Jack, Claire, Charlie, Clyde and Gus O'Connell, his grandparents Ryan and Cindy Sale and his grandfather Gary O'Connell, Sr. 


A funeral will be held for Ryan George O'Connell at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bend on Friday, August 19 at 10:00AM. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the following: 

1) Mountain View High School Lacrosse

2) Young Life Bend, Mountain View High School chapter

If someone would prefer a check by mail here is our P.O. Box

Young Life Bend

PO BOX 6051

Bend, OR 97708

with “in memory of Ryan O’Connell” on memo line




To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ryan George O'Connell, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Ryan

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Prineville Funeral Home

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


Funeral Mass
August 19, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Francis Catholic Church
2450 NE 27th St
Bend, OR 97701

© 2022 Prineville Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility