Ryan Joseph Levesque, of Redding, Conn., passed away suddenly on Saturday, July 28 (while camping with his family). He was 39. He was the loving husband of Jennifer (Bergman) and father of son Colten and daughter Merritt who were all by his side when he passed.

Born on Nov.16, 1978, he was the son of Roy and Nancy (Luechinger). Ryan was born and raised in South Salem and graduated John Jay High School in 1996 and Pace University in 2006.

Ryan loved life and had a joy about him you don’t see every day. He could often be found singing a song he’d made up (about the first time their son took a bath), whistling or talking about how much he loved something around him: “Have I told you I love you today?” (which he asked his wife every single day); “We have the best family”; “I love this house so much”; “Can I tell you another cool thing about my new car?!”; or his wife's favorite, “Want to watch Stargate with me?!”

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Ryan was such a loving father, always playing on the floor with the kids, letting them ride on his shoulders, kicking the soccer ball around or reading to them at night. Colten and Merritt were the luckiest kids in the world to have him. He was also an amazing son, brother, nephew, son-in-law, and brother-in-law. He stopped by his parent’s house weekly, usually to talk non-stop with his dad about whatever topic they both had a strong opinion on (which is all of them) and just banter back and forth. They were the best of friends.

Ryan’s biggest passion was hiking and camping, and he was a proud member of the Catskills 3500 Club. The woods were Ryan’s happy place, where he spent time with family growing up, friends through college and later years, camping in the desert with me last year and just last month taking his son, Colten, on their first-ever overnight hike and camp into the woods. He was so happy that weekend to get to share that with him. It is the most beautiful silver lining that he died in one of his very favorite places in the world with his wife and children around him.

Ryan's family said, “Ryan, we were the lucky ones to have had this beautiful, funny, adventurous and loving life with you. As you go on this journey, may your spirit continue to shine as bright as the smile you gave us.”

Besides his wife, Jennifer, he is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Janine and Kevin Cross; niece and nephew, Ellie and Cooper; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Rory and Mark Lawrence; niece and nephew, Grace and Hugo; in-laws, Mary and Jerry Bergman; and aunts and uncles, Susan and David Mallonee, Joanne Luechinger and Bud West, and Gerry Luechinger.

Ryan's family would like to extend a special thanks to the Neversink Fire Department, which took them in and gave them comfort on Saturday after Ryan’s passing. Additional thanks to the Claryville Fire Department, countless EMS teams and fellow hikers who helped get them off the mountain and cared for their children along the way. “You were our real-life guardian angels. Thank you.”

A celebration of Ryan's life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Bouton Funeral Home, 31 West Church St., Georgetown, Conn. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Catskills 3500 Club. All checks should be made out to the Catskill 3500 Club, and “for Ryan” noted on the memo line and mailed to David White, at 28 Mulberry St., Clinton, N.Y. 13323. To offer online condolences to his family, visit boutonfuneralhome.com.