Ryan Exline was killed in an auto accident yesterday.  I can’t even begin to describe how I feel.  Ryan has been a big part of Audubon for a long time…

Ryan - Eagle Keeper

Camp Counselor

Snake, northern water with bloody hand
Herp Nerd

Ryan attended home school programs with his family when he was in high school.  He became our youngest Eaglekeeper before he was technically old enough to perform such duties.  However, because of his maturity and responsibility, the Eagle team had no problem letting him start early.  He was the 2004 recipient of our Audubon scholarship which he used to attend a herpetology camp in Vermont.  When he returned, he was instrumental in setting up some of our herp programs for teens.

Ryan, I cannot even believe you are gone…  You will be missed by all…

Here is the full Obituary from the Warren Times Observer:

RyanRyan Paul Exline, 22, of 4945 Rte 957, Russell, PA, died on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Ryan was born November 26, 1986, in Canton, Ohio, the son of James and Robyn (Hemsley) Samuelson, Russell. Ryan was a graduate of the Pennsylvania Homeschooling program and was a graduate student at Duke University, studying for a Conservation Degree. While at college he worked parttime in the Duke University Lab.

Ryan was a member of the Wiltsie Community Church and was formerly involved with the Busti Church of God youth group. He was a member of the Jamestown Audubon Society and enjoyed wildlife and skiing.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by two sisters, Aubree Rinderle and her husband, Greg, Pittsburgh and Alyssa Samuelson, at home; four brothers, Jarod Samuelson and his wife, Kari, Portland, Ore., Joshua Samuelson and his wife, Christy, Erie, and Jacob and Jonah Samuelson, both at home; maternal grandparents, Bill and Betty Hemsley, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; five nieces, one nephew, and several cousins.

He was preceded in death by paternal grandparents, David and Dorothy Titus; and paternal grandfather, Milton Samuelson.

Friends will be received at the Wiltsie Community Church, 65 Swede Hill Road, Russell, on Saturday, December 20, 2008 for two hours prior to a memorial service to be held there at 4 p.m., with Rev. Todd Venman, pastor, officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wiltsie Community Church Building Fund, 65 Swede Hill Rd., Russell, PA 16345 or Jamestown Audubon Society, 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, NY 14701.

15 thoughts on “Ryan

  1. Hi, Jennifer:

    I read your blog often and enjoy it a lot. Today’s entry, however, was not one I’d ever wish to read…nor you to have to write.

    I don’t know if there’s ever anything, really, to be said that might help you fill your aching heart, the sense of loss, emptiness, disbelief. But for what it is worth, I’m so sorry to hear about your young friend’s untimely death. Please accept my sincere condolences.

  2. Very sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your friend…The loss of any friend is difficult..but the unexpected loss of a young person is so much harder to deal with and understand.

    I think I know what you are going thru…I lost a good friend this year..much to young…very difficult for us living to understand and deal with…I can only say healing from our loss takes time…
    best to you…

  3. My most heartfelt condolences to you on the loss of someone so dear to you –/who you encouraged and worked with and who responded to your caring concern with his zeal and devotion to working with young students and choosing a career in Conservation.

    Any life that passes ,especially that of Ryan, reminds us of the fragility of being — Ryan was on the right track, thanks to you.

  4. Jennifer,
    Thank you for posting such beautiful memories of Ryan. I was a dear friend of his too and will miss him terribly. He was an amazing person and spoke fondly of his work with Audubon. I know the work he did will live on. Thank you!

  5. I worked with ryan in the summer of ’07 at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland. We worked in the same lab all summer long and developed a fine relationship. He was a joy to work with and my summer would not have been the same without him. Wonderful guy.


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