Last Sunday my friend Ronald “Ryan’ Taylor left his Toronto hotel and was not seen by his friends agani. It is believed that the body pulled from the Niagara river on the US side is Ryan. I learned the news on monday, tuesday and wednesday from Ryan’s friends across the continent. I was devasted again each day. Ryan was my friend.
Ryan Taylor was a genealogy librarian and educator. As a teacher Ryan was a standout. his forty years of research experience provided a wealth of anecdotes and stoies to teach with, and his skill sets were impressive.
But what really stands out in my mind is his people skills. He was charming, engaging and sincerely caring. We once ran into each other while boarding a bus in Ottawa bound for Cornwall, Ontario. The two of us, me of girth, and he of worth and girth began talking genealogy. The lady in front of us turned and introduced herself as a genealogist bound for the same conference and was xcited to share the trip with two of the speakers. I watched Ryan turn on the charm and draw her into our conversation.
Most of my best memories of Ryan somehow involve food. We dined together in Edmonton, Alberta, Cornwall, Ontario, Brandon, Manitoba, Toronto, Ontario, and Windsor, Ontario. and Salt Lake City. We dined well. Ryan loved good food and good conversation.
This past week my mind has dwelt on him and his passing often. My heart has melted as I grieved with his many friends. We miss you, Ryan. But I’m comfortable you’ll charm your family on the other side over a gourmet dinner.
Another of Ryan’s friends, Dave Obee, shares his memories of Ryan at http://www.daveobee.com/columns/06ryan.htm