Ryan Michael Thies

October 1, 1998 ~ March 14, 2022 (age 23)


Ryan Michael Thies passed away on March 14, 2022; he was 23. Ryan is survived by his brother Harper Thies, his mother Kate Greene, and his father Marty Thies, all of Olympia.  Ryan also has a grandmother, Biz Greene of Kansas City, many aunts, uncles and cousins in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Missouri, South America, Italy, and Puerto Rico.  Preceding him in death are his cousin Colby Leitgeb of Battleground, his paternal grandparents Fritz and Verna Thies of Olympia, and his maternal grandfather Mike Greene of Kansas City.

Ryan was born at home in Asheville, North Carolina, a beautiful child who was intensely interested in the big world all around him.  Ryan attended the Olympia Waldorf School for his early school years, then completed elementary school at Roosevelt where he demonstrated an unusual talent for math.  He also attended Reeves Middle School, Olympia High School, and New Market. Ryan earned his GED in 2016. 

Ryan was always a good big brother to Harper.  The two of them were always each other’s No. 1 playmate; they were a pair.  Ryan was protective and generous as a big brother.  Harper and Ryan loved each other a lot. He also loved his Grandma, uncles, aunts and cousins very much. He had many happy memories of the time he spent with them as a young boy, and spoke often of his desire to reconnect with them all.

Ryan always loved to experience new things, he was always up for an adventure.  He enjoyed many family trips along the Washington and Oregon coasts—from Kalaloch to Tillamook, and enjoyed endless fort-building and beach combing.  Ryan would always take a dare to run into the frigid surf and dive in.  The cold water, wind or rain never stopped him from jumping into an adventure.

Ryan also travelled with his dad and brother to Yellowstone, and the Tetons, to Yosemite and Crater Lake. He sat on the knees of the giant Sequoias and Redwoods, hiked to alpine lakes, and camped like a pro. Ryan completed a 10-day Outward Bound course, kayaking and backpacking through the Cascades when he was 15.  At 16 he travelled with his father to Peru, where he followed the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, sailed across Lake Titicaca, and explored Arequipa and the back streets of Lima.  As a traveler Ryan had little fear.  Shortly after arriving in Cusco, Ryan left the hotel, found a barber and got himself a haircut; ever generous, he was so proud of the amount he was able to tip for the service.   He was a great traveler, the best; any discomfort being away from home never fazed him.

Ryan was always funny and smart; he had a warm heart and a kind spirit; he loved his friends and he loved and befriended dogs all of his life.  Ryan was always loving toward his family, and his family loved him very much. He battled with addiction for several years and continuously strived for sobriety. After two years of being out-of-state, he had recently returned to Washington to be part of a good housing and recovery setting where he was employed and reconnecting with family. With all of his family members, his final days were very positive and loving. 

Donations in Ryan’s memory are welcome and will go toward funeral costs and to local organizations who are working to support and educate youth in drug use prevention and recovery, peer support, and self-care.

A memorial will be held at Unity Church of Olympia on Saturday, May 21 at 2:00 PM.  1335 Fern St. SW, 98502.

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