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Ryan Michael Nowak, age 38, LIFE enthusiast, protagonist, fighter, fuzzle dad, inappropriate jokester, mechanic extraordinaire, contractor, the man who could fix and do anything, engineer ANYTHING (especially if it proved his girlfriend wrong), passed away on April 3, 2018.
Ryan fought his way through life, to make sure every day would be unique. And when the biggest fight of his life started 3 years ago with appendix cancer, it only made him more determined to live as he wanted, and squeeze every last drop of life out of every experience.
He had found a quote that captured what he felt about life. “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Life with him was not meant to be easy and forgettable – the memories he created inspire emotion, every time.
He leaves a legacy behind that we should all be so lucky to aspire to. He took a house he hated, and room by room created his own haven that he would show off to every visitor. He babied an ’85 Pontiac Fiero, investing more money and time in than it would ever be worth on the market, because “you can’t frown when you’re driving a fast go cart.” He hosted UFC Fight Nights with class, making sure there was always food and entertainment for friends and family. He never went to a party empty-handed – was a well-known “Drunken Sailor” because he couldn’t do anything half way. He reveled in being in good shape, and taking care of his health, and encouraging others to do so.
Ryan felt life was about doing for others. He went above and beyond to do kind deeds; to help out family and friends, strangers, and pay it forward.
Instructions for his passing was to host a party in his honor, because we have to celebrate his life, and not wallow in sadness. In perfect timing, there will be a visitation to remember him on his lucky day, Friday, April 13, 2018 from 2-4pm and 6-8pm at Memorial Alternatives, 2432 Fuller Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Lake Haven Rescue. Ryan's passion for our own fuzzles and critters that deserved better homes would be much appreciated.