Ryan Thomas Lahiff

May 6, 1986 - May 21, 2008

Ryan Thomas Lahiff of Waukesha passed to eternal life Wednesday, May 21, 2008, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield at age 22. Ryan was born May 6, 1986, in Milwaukee, the son of Thomas and Cheryl (nee Kunda) Lahiff.

He grew up in Waukesha and attended Summit View Elementary School, where he started his love of playing soccer at the early age of 8. Ryan won the sixth-grade run and held the record for the mile run. He was involved in swimming, participating in the Optimist Swim Meet. It was in grade school that he found a love of computers and reading, carrying that throughout his life. Ryan attended Butler Middle School, continuing his love of soccer and computers. He developed into a strong runner in cross-country and track. He furthered this passion for running at West High School, where he was captain of the cross-country and track team, and went to the state track meet his freshman year. It was during his junior and senior years that his father was his high school coach. He qualified for state in track both junior and senior years, where he medaled in the 2-mile relay and the 880. Ryan was confirmed during high school at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Ryan was recruited by various colleges for his running, choosing to go to Stevens Point, where he majored in economics with an emphasis in computer studies.

Ryan was a free spirit, one who was very inquisitive, always wanting to find the meaning of things. He loved music and had a great collection of CDs and DVD movies. Ryan loved playing ultimate Frisbee and computer games with his friends. He had a healthy competitive nature and was a "gadget guy" immersed in technology.

Ryan is lovingly remembered and deeply missed by his parents, Thomas and Cheryl (nee Kunda) Lahiff of Waukesha; sister, Nicole "Nikki" Lahiff of Waukesha; grandparents, Joyce (Charles) Kunda and Geneva Lahiff; girlfriend, Emily Sattler; aunt, Kathleen Lahiff Morley; uncle, Patrick (Pam) Lahiff; cousins, Meghann, Caitlin, Shannon, Michael, Matthew and Keara; great uncle, Wm. "Bill" (Kathi) Seiler and their daughters, Dana and Dionne. Ryan was deeply loved by his family and friends and was a "best friend" to many.

The funeral Mass for Ryan will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, 2008, at St. William Catholic Church, 440 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha, with the Rev. Jason Lavonn officiating. The visitation for Ryan will be held from 4 p.m. until the 7 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, at the church. There will be a private family interment held at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Waukesha.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Ryan’s name are appreciated to the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation, The Foundation for Fighting Blindness, Inc., P.O. Box 17279, Baltimore, MD 21297, or to the Memorial Scholarship Fund to be established at Waukesha West High School for summer cross-country camp.

Ryan gave the ultimate gift of life, organ donation. His liver was transplanted into one person, kidneys into two other people and pancreas in a diabetic patient. All four life-saving transplant recipients are out of ICU and doing well.

The Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For further information, please call 542-6609 or for directions, an online obituary or to leave a condolence, please visit www.waukeshasfuneralhome.com.