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Ryan Paul Miller
January 16, 1985 ~ December 14, 2023 (age 38) 38 Years Old
Ryan Paul George Miller, of Effingham, NH, passed away suddenly on December 14th, 2023, in his home. He was only 38 years old.
Ryan was born on January 16th, 1985, in Winchester, MA, and was brought home to live in Arlington, MA with his mother and father, Nancy and Paul Miller, and his two older sisters, Heather and Jennifer. His sisters loved him instantly and could not get enough of holding their baby brother. From the moment he came, the family knew how special he was.
At age three Ryan was diagnosed with Autism. The family worked tirelessly to get him the services he needed to thrive in the world. Ryan had endless energy and was fearless, two traits that would often put him in curious situations. When Ryan turned four, the family decided to move to a quiet piece of land in Effingham, NH, that had been in the family since the 1970’s. There they built a home and settled into life in the woods, planting a garden, tending to chickens, pigs, and even a horse at one point. Many family dogs were loyal pals to Ryan over the years, and he would recall fond memories of each of them on a nearly daily basis for the rest of his life.
Ryan was non-verbal until he was 7 years old, a unique challenge for both him and his family. He learned to read and write before he could talk, a feat that one of his early childhood teachers remarked that he taught himself.
After attending Carpenter Elementary School in Wolfeboro, NH, Ryan moved on to Kingswood Regional Middle and High Schools. He graduated with his class in 2004 but was able to stay at the high school until he turned 21 in 2006. Everyone knew Ryan, and they appreciated his character and the beautiful smile he donned while bounding down the hallways. His teachers, whom he absolutely loved, described him as endearing during those years. During his later high school years, Ryan would go out into the community and volunteer for various places, including the Wolfeboro Inn, cracking eggs in the kitchen, and delivering mail at Huggins Hospital. He loved his routines and thrived best on them.
After leaving high school, Ryan received services from Northern Human Services. He had many caretakers over the years, but he was especially attached to Jessica Benedict and Erin Henderson, two women who lovingly cared for Ryan and spent many hours taking him around the community to volunteer. Ryan was particularly known for his work with Ossipee Meals on Wheels and at the Lakes Region Humane Society, where he and Erin were recently honored with their “Volunteer of the Year” award for 2023. Give Ryan a job to do, and he will do that job to the best of anyone’s abilities.
To say Ryan had an affinity for movies from the ‘80s would be an understatement, and he could challenge the best of us in movie quotes. If you interacted with Ryan regularly, you were sure to engage in some movie dialog, and it would probably be the same every time you saw him. He loved to listen to music and dance with his family. He loved animals, especially dogs and horses, and if you introduced him to one of those creatures, Ryan would remember their names and give them treats. If you owned a horse, Ryan would be sure to visit often and bring carrots. Ryan had an incredible photographic memory, and he could remember all the draft horse names at the Fryeburg Fair. He learned to downhill ski, and he loved going on the boat on Ossipee Lake. He never missed the Fourth of July fireworks at Constitution Park, and he was an excellent bowler. He was very kind and caring, and would do anything you asked him to do.
Ryan is survived by his father, Paul Miller, and mother, Nancy Miller; his sister and husband, Heather and Seth Burnell, of Conway; his sister, Jennifer Miller, of Charleston, SC; and his niece and nephew, Jenna and Parker Burnell. His aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless family friends, who loved Ryan like he was their own child or brother, will also miss him terribly and forever cherish him in their hearts.
“Happiness is anyone and anything that is loved by you” is a quote from one of Ryan’s favorite characters, Charlie Brown. If you want to honor the memory of Ryan, love your family and friends unconditionally, a lesson that Ryan taught us all.
A celebration of life is being planned; you can find information posted on Heather’s Facebook page, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.