Born November 18, 1975 - July 25, 2021
Son of Kathy Thompson (Deceased) and Craig Merrell
Met and fell in love with Dan Link April 18, 2003. Later married April 16, 2015.
Children- Ryker Link, (14) Jayden Link (12) and Topper Link (8), Dog Cooper.
Siblings- Kelly Thompson, Jesse Thompson, Marty Merrell, Monte Merrell, Mindy Merrell and Matt Merrell. Thirty Nieces and Nephews.
Ryan worked for several companies throughout his adult life, but one of his favorite jobs was when he was in his late teens was working with his Uncle Rick in Hanna Utah breaking in horses, farming and taking private tours on horse back up to the GrandDaddy Lakes in the Uinta Mountains,.But his best and favorite job of all time was being a dad to his three amazing boys that he loved with all of his heart.
Ryan loved exploring and four wheeling anywhere in the mountains. He was always happy when he was camping or being outdoors. He loved to travel and spend time with his family. He spent many hours tending to his garden, or planning the next garden for the following year.
He loved and had a special way with animals and raised many types of birds throughout his lifetime. Ryan and Dan spent several years building and creating at their Property/cabin, "The RyDan Ranch" where they enjoyed every weekend building and creating and enjoying friends and family. Some of their best memories still talked about were at the Ranch.
On October 1, 2010 their world changed when Ryan suffered from a massive Brain Aneurysm. Ryan was in a coma for 17 days and no one knew what the outcome would be during that gut wrenching time. After three long months and Ryan’s determination to have his life back, Ryan came home on New Year's Eve to start the new year and his new life at home with his family.
Ryan fought hard and beat the odds. His three year old Ryker at the time and his love for Dan, family and friends gave him the strength and drive to fight for his life. He exceeded all expectations and once again became very independent even with his paralyzed body and struggles to speak. He was a pillar of strength and inspired everyone that knew him as he continued overcoming all of the obstacles he faced everyday of his life.
A few years later when Ryan was feeling stronger, Ryan and Dan wanted to grow their family, so they decided to get their license and do Foster Care. Soon after getting licensed, the phone rang and they were asked if they wanted to foster an eight year old boy named Jayden who was found living on the streets. They brought Jayden home and it was meant to be that later Jayden would legally become their second son. Feeling joy and satisfied that they had completed their family, about a year had passed and the phone rang again asking if they could foster and help a five year old boy until his mother could get better. Later on through the pure honest love of Topper’s mother, she knew that Topper was where he was supposed to be with a family he loved and was later adopted and completed the Link Family.
Ryan has left an enormous hole in our hearts and lives. We feel his loss in everything we do as he was such a bright light and played such a huge role in our lives.
We feel comfort knowing that he is free for the first time in eleven years to run, dance, clap his hands and flap both of his arms like a bird. He can now speak again and most of all...breathe.
We are so thankful and could never repay our dear family friend Dee Wynn for her unconditional love and support throughout both of Ryan’s hospital challenges. She was always there for him and our family helping and organizing any of our needs.
We want to thank all of our family and friends who’s love and support got us through these difficult months. Your love and dedication to help us made more of a difference that you probably know.
Also special thanks to the Copper Oaks Relief Society for seven months of fantastic home cooked meals, love and support. We love and appreciate you all.