On June 18th, 2021, our world was shattered when our beloved, Ryan Douglas Windrem, lost his long courageous battle with mental illness.
Many were unaware of the severity of Ryan’s struggles as he hid it well behind his beautiful, loving smile. Anyone who knew Ryan knew how much he loved his family, they were everything. Ryan also has an absolute passion for helping those in need, especially drawn to those he saw glimpses of himself in; those facing the trials and demons he had battled throughout his life.
Ryan was born to parents Judy Good heart and Dennis Windrem on June 8th, 1980, at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. Ryan was a sweet happy little boy, loved by all who knew him. In the blink of an eye, he grew into a handsome, smart young man. In high school, he found his passion in football and became one of his team’s star players. As a young adult, Ryan was well liked by all his peers and had many friends.
September 5th, 2001, was a day that changed so much, it was the day Ryan referred to as the best day of his life. The day he became a father. The day he welcomed his son Kaleb into the world. He often wished he could go back and be a better father to Kaleb, but he always tried to make sure that Kaleb knew how much he loved him.
Ryan had many ups and downs over the years. Moving from one place to another, changing jobs, trying to find himself in this world. Then, in the winter of 2014, Ryan met the love of his life, Amber. Ryan fell hard and fast. He proposed to amber in the most romantic way in Lethbridge on July 31, 2015, and they were married exactly one year later, in front of all their family and friends on July 31st, 2016.
Ryan and Amber were so happy, and he felt his life was so perfect and complete with amber, stepdaughter Jessalyn and Kaleb. Sadly, later that year Ryan’s mental health took a turn for the worst after losing his friend and sponsor Ron and then his father-in-law, both to cancer. The battle has been ongoing ever since.
Ryan fought so unbelievably hard for so long, his loving family always right there fighting along side him. This year was hard for so many, in so many ways. Ryan just could not see past it anymore; his mental health became worse than ever. Though he fought hard, it was just too much, for too long. While we miss him so incredibly much, we must try to take comfort in knowing he is finally at peace. The world will never be the same without him.
Ryan is survived by wonderful son Kaleb, stepdaughter Jessalyn, his loving wife Amber, his mother Judy, brother Jason, aunts Tracy (Wayne) Houseman, Tammy Goodheart, Marilyn (Bob) Toussaint, countless other family, and friends and of course his furry baby girls Cinder and Ella.
Ryan was predeceased by his father Dennis Windrem, his grandparents Doug and Lorraine Goodheart and his father-in-law Mike Whitehead.
A service to remember and honor Ryan will be held Tuesday July 6th, 2021, at 2:00pm at the Wetaskiwin Memorial Arts Centre. All are welcome to attend.
Memorial donations in Ryan’s name and greatly accepted to The Lifeline Canada Foundation for suicide prevention and awareness.