Tuesday, October 16, 2018
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
St. Jude Catholic Church
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
St. Jude Catholic Church
1120 4 Mile Road NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Gift of Life
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Ryan Plouff would agree that he was the heartbeat of wherever he was. He was vibrant, fun-loving, and funny with a sarcastic kind of humor and a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Ryan deeply loved his family and friends, and perhaps his proudest moments were found in becoming an uncle many times over. He had the ability to work a room like no one else could, and he quickly won anyone over with his wit, his charm, and his genuine concern for those around him. Ryan was taken from his loved ones too soon, but the impact he made in the hearts and lives of so many will be forever changed because of his touch.
1988 was a time of great joy in the lives of Bill and Robin (Fehrman) Plouff as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Ryan Christopher on September 30, 1988, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As the youngest of four, he was raised in the family home on Wildridge Court on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids alongside his siblings, Shelley, Nathan, and Courtney. Being the youngest meant that he had a way of getting attention with his cute looks and charming personality. As the youngest of the Plouff clan Ryan was also forced to deal with the antics of his older siblings including having to pay them “taxes.” Although he was a prankster, he also had an insatiable sense of curiosity and seemed to absorb information like a sponge. As a result, he was very intelligent and full of all kinds of information, which when coupled with his sense of humor, one never knew what might come out of his mouth! As a family they were members at St. Jude Catholic Church where Ryan was baptized. He attended Orchard View Elementary and then Forest Hills Northern where he excelled in his studies. Being a student came naturally for Ryan as he often procrastinated on his schoolwork but usually did well. He became lifelong friends with a neighbor, Alex, and the two boys were usually playing together and also went to school together. Even though the two friends were six years younger than Nate, they were often having fun with the older kids.
From the time he was a young boy Ryan was a bustle of activity. He loved sports throughout his life. He played Little League baseball during his younger years, and baseball and football during his early years in high school. Ryan and Nate were lucky to have their Dad as a coach during their Little League years. There were also many happy hours spent in the driveway playing "over the line" with his Dad and brother, they also loved golfing together. Some of their best family memories were made on their many vacations together as they often traveled in their black conversion van. They also took a pop-up camper to Colorado and went to the Georgian Bay with another family of six. The Plouffs also took several trips to Disney World. Ryan looked forward to spending time with his Grandma and Grandpa Fehrman. They held special places in the hearts of one another. Ryan was able to draw war stories out of his Grandpa, and perhaps he was inspired to cook by his Grandma. Always determined, Ryan was always the top salesperson for whatever fundraiser they were having at school, and he had mastered the art of playing the “orphan” in order to make a sale. He was a voracious reader throughout his life as it was not uncommon to find Ryan laying behind the couch, immersed in a book while he was growing up. As he got older, he rode to school with his sister, but like a typical brother, he found a way to make it fun, often startling her by yelling, “Squirrel!”
As a young man Ryan went off to Michigan State University, eager for all that life had in store. He did put forth more effort there since he knew that getting good grades was essential in getting a good job. Ryan had a great time in college where he developed many special and lasting friendships but none more special than with Tony. He had one teacher who saw the potential in him and encouraged him to double major, so he did, as he majored in Mandarin and supply chain management. Ryan then spent a summer studying in China.
With his studies behind him, Ryan earned a job at IBM in a consulting by degree program, which is a fast track for performance and intense learning. Although with this job he settled in Chicago, he traveled all around the United States on various job sites. He later returned to Grand Rapids where he took and excelled at a job at Amway. As a quick learner, he ended up working in data and analytics. He also spent a lot of time with his brother and their longtime friends, watching movies, playing video games, playing disc golf, and just hanging out. Ryan loved his brother’s dog, Icky, and he was thrilled to become an uncle at 13. He was even more proud once he was actually old enough to babysit his nieces and nephews. A couple of months ago, Ryan purchased a home in Belmont and had plans to make it a great place to hang out. He had also recently enjoyed woodworking. Ryan was famous for his slow cooked meats done in the smoker as well as his mac ’n cheese. As his family and friends can attest, he also had a great sense of fashion.
There were so many things to love about Ryan. He was gifted, poised, confident, and funny, so it comes as no surprise that he delivered several unforgettable speeches, but none better than as the best man at his big brother's wedding. Ryan was the sort of person who could fit in anywhere as he could work the crowd in a caring yet roasting way using both laughter and sarcasm. Behind the laughter, however, Ryan did struggle with both anxiety and depression. Since moving back to Grand Rapids he had periods where he was moving forward, thriving and overcoming challenges, but the struggles were often lingering just below the surface. As friends surrounded him during his last days, it was clear to see the way Ryan touched the lives of others.
Described as smart, kind, and funny, Ryan Plouff was one of the most loving and compassionate people around. He was so full of life, and he was always the life of the party. Ryan accomplished so much of which to be proud, yet he was humble and so very giving. Ryan's last gift is the gift of organ and tissue donation, in which he will help and live on in numerous other people. His family could not be more proud that even through his own struggles, Ryan continued to be a giving and positive presence. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.
Ryan Plouff, age 30 of Grand Rapids, passed away October 12, 2018. He is survived by his parents, Bill and Robin Plouff; siblings Shelley (Thom) Stambaugh, Nathan (Jessie) Plouff, Courtney Plouff (Rob Blanchard); nieces and nephews Daniella, Brady, Dean, Troy, Mollie, Charlotte and Sam(his god-son); god-mother and aunt, Pat Bosse as well as several other aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Ryan was preceded in death by his grandparents, Warren and Margie Fehrman, Wilfred and Dorothy Plouff; and his uncle, Don Plouff. The memorial service for Ryan will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 16 at 11 AM at St. Jude Catholic Church where friends may visit with his family from 10 AM until the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Gift of Life of Michigan are appreciated. To read more about Ryan's life, to share a memory or to sign his guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com