SERVICE LIVESTREAM -Saturday 9/24/2022 at 11:00 a.m. -options: Church Livestream, Facebook Livestream, YouTube Livestream.
Ryan A. Simmons, age 38, of Barberton, Ohio, went to be with the Lord on September 15, 2022, after a nearly two-year battle with leukemia. He was born to Randy and Alice Faye (Ousley) Simmons on April 11, 1984, in Marshall, Michigan. He loved Jesus in ever increasing measure throughout his life and especially as he journeyed through cancer and countless, weeks-long hospital stays. Ryan was a member and deacon at First Baptist Church in Medina, where he also served as part of the media team and at different times as teacher for adult morning classes and LifeGroups, a guest speaker for the teen youth group, and an AWANA helper for kids. He loved helping wherever possible, and for several years taught a Financial Peace money management class at the church. He also took three missions trips to the country of Cuba, and became very passionate about the church and people there.
Ryan grew up visiting his grandparents' nearby farm in rural Michigan where he loved to fish, hunt, and go four-wheeling. As the farm became his parents' land, Ryan enjoyed taking his own children there frequently and introducing them to the same activities. Family - immediate, extended, and friends adopted as family - was very important to Ryan. People were very important to Ryan. Throughout his life he was surrounded by nearly two dozen loving aunts and uncles by birth and by marriage, along with 27 cousins, many of whom lived nearby or visited regularly. As an adult Ryan felt it was both important and enjoyable to attend family reunions, not only those of the Simmons and Ousley families, but also those of the Thomas and Meeker families, who he became a part of when he married his wife Michele.
Ryan attended Cedarville University, where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in English. While there, he developed close relationships with the guys of the HarriHouse dorm, to whom he was known as Simmonz. Ryan also became part of a close-knit group of friends who were jokingly known as 'The Harem', so called because he was the lone guy – The Dude - amongst seven girls. Those friendships continued long after graduation, and he even ended up marrying one of the girls from the 'Harem'.
As he started his adult life, Ryan followed his soon-to-be wife Michele to Skyview Ranch camp in Millersburg, Ohio, where he loved being a counselor and then the Media Director for several years. He then launched out as an independent website and media developer. Following that, Ryan worked at Ethode in Medina for seven and a half years, moving from web developer to project manager to business developer for the company. Along with websites, Ryan developed many genuine friendships with bosses, co-workers, business partners, and clients alike.
Ryan loved to read both to learn and to enjoy. His favorite author, C.S. Lewis, covered both of those bases, and Ryan would heartily recommend the books 'Mere Christianity', 'The Great Divorce', and the Chronicles of Narnia. Ryan was a Michigan fan, one born out of necessity as he spent the last 20 years of his life as a transplant in the 'enemy territory' of Ohio. Ryan also loved to write short stories, paint, sketch, watch movies - especially Star Wars and Star Trek, play video games, listen to music and podcasts, travel, bake and cook. He perfected the browned-butter chocolate chip cookie, and was in constant pursuit of how to cook both the perfect hamburger and the perfect steak. He loved sharing the things he enjoyed with his kids, from cooking and music to gardening and nature.
Ryan is survived by his wife of 15 years, Michele (Thomas) Simmons; his children, Elissa, Jackson, and Ember; his brothers, Nicholas (Casey Baar) Simmons, and Nathan (Bethany) Simmons; nephews Harrison and Benjamin Simmons and Calvin Thomas; his parents; numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins; and a lifetime of collected friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Louis and Ruth Simmons and Melvin and Annabel Ousley, and an uncle, Kim Simmons.
Visitation services will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, September 23, 2022, at Waite & Son Funeral Home, 765 N. Court St., Medina, OH 44256 and from 10-11:00 am Saturday at the church. A celebration of Ryan's life will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 24, 2022, at First Baptist Church, 3646 Medina Rd, with Pastor Kurt Alber officiating. A luncheon will be served immediately after the service at the church.
There will also be visitation for Michigan family and friends at First Baptist Church of Albion, 980 Haven Rd., Albion, MI 49224 on Monday, September 26th, from 9:30 a.m to 10:45 a.m. The service at the church will begin at 11:00 a.m. and a committal service will be held at Rice Creek Cemetery. A luncheon will follow the burial back at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Skyview Ranch- Ryan and Michele both worked there- Skyview is a camp that is all about life impact through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Skyview will be using the funds donated to help build a new cabin so that more campers can come to camp; or to the Sembradores Island Impact- Ryan has taken several trips to Cuba to work on this project with United World Mission. The goal of Island Impact is to see churches planted across Cuba and see Cubans sent to the rest of the world. Donations are being handled by First Baptist Medina and can be mailed to 3646 Medina Rd, Medina, OH 44256 or you can click here: Donate for Ryan.