Ryan William Shea, PhD, was born July 1 1986 in St Albert, Alberta. He died tragically young in his 33rd year at Vancouver General Hospital on December 5, 2019, surrounded by his loving family, after a heroic battle with cancer. Ryan was a loving husband to his wife Elizabeth Jane Pendray, son to his proud parents Faye and Jeff, grandson to Jeff’s mother Margaret, adored brother to Graham (Desiree), and uncle to their son Gibson. He was a beloved nephew to Faye’s siblings Elsie (Tony), Pat, Arthur (1943-2014), Lynn, Fred (Sharron), Duke (Anneke), Ken (Janet), Bill, and Curtis (Gina), and to Jeff’s brother Gregory (Trish), as well as loving and supporting his many cousins and his close-knit family. He was also a loved son-in-law to Jane’s parents Lawrie and Tom, brother-in-law to Jane’s brothers Christopher (Georgia) and Alexander (Alix), and uncle to Arthur. He is missed and lovingly remembered by his entire family.
Born in St Albert, Alberta, Ryan grew up in Brackendale, BC from the age of 5. Drawn to electronics from an early age, he built his first computer at age of 8. He nurtured a lifelong love of the outdoors, be it hiking, swimming, or camping. Ryan graduated from Howe Sound Secondary in 2005 and started at Simon Fraser University that fall, where he met Jane and their 14 year long relationship began. He completed his BSc in Computer Science in 2010 and his PhD on Computer Networking in 2016. Ryan continued his academic career as a researcher and lecturer in the School of Computer Science, becoming an Assistant Professor in 2018 and publishing widely in the fields of distributed computing and network security.
Ryan and Jane were overjoyed to be married in September 2015, in Jane’s hometown of Smithers, BC, 10 years to the day after they first met. Together they shared a love of good food, drink, time with friends and family, and exploration, both in their own back yard and in trips to Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US. In 2019, they moved back to his hometown of Brackendale, a place close to his heart.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to Ryan’s oncologists, and the medical teams at VGH’s Burn, Trauma, and High Acuity Unit, the General Medicine Unit, and the Palliative Care Unit for their kindness and high quality of care over the past year and months.
Ryan will be remembered at a service held at Quest University on Sunday, December 15th, 2019 at 11 AM. Everyone touched by Ryan’s bright life are welcome to attend, and messages of remembrance may be posted to Ryan's Memorial Page by clicking the memory wall tab above.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ryan’s memory to the BC Cancer Foundation, which funds breakthrough research into cancer genetics that saves and extends many lives. Successful treatments for this horrible disease will be found, and Ryan’s participation in research programs and clinical trials will have contributed to that success.