Many of us have had a special person in our lives who seems to be bigger than life itself.
They effortlessly make everyone feel at home — discomfort disappears when they are around. They create opportunities for others that would not have occurred otherwise.
Ryan Driscoll embodied these ideals and more and lived them every day.
Driscoll was a three-sport athlete at Linn-Mar from 1988-1992 — and The Gazette’s 1992 Athlete of the Year — before attending the University of Iowa to play football. Even as a quarterback for the Hawkeyes, he made time for everyone who came into his orbit. It wasn’t the fact that he was a great athlete, it was the fact he celebrated and embraced everyone for who they were.
This continued to ring true in his adult life he established with his wife and high school sweetheart, Kerry, in Rockford, Ill.
For those of you who may not know, Driscoll died on Dec. 5, 2018, at the age of 44. His death was a shock to all who knew him and those who didn’t. While he never expressed any grandiose plan for his life, he lived what he valued every day. Anyone who spent time with Driscoll felt special.
“His most cherished titles, however, were that of husband, father, best friend and coach. He could always be heard on the sidelines of any game in which (children) Mia or Tessa were playing,” a passage in his obit read.
He made everyone around him better people without saying a great deal.
We need to celebrate those who bring us together to experience and appreciate the best in everyone. We wish to honor Driscoll’s spirit by celebrating those individuals who embrace everyone around them for who they are. As such, with the blessing of Kerry, Theresa (Ryan’s mom), Beth (Ryan’s sister) and Dan (Ryan’s brother), we are working to create a scholarship to celebrate those individuals who make everyone feel at home.
Our hope is we as a community can come together to honor Driscoll’s legacy by helping those who internalize Ryan’s values.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
With the help of the Linn-Mar Foundation, we have created the Ryan Driscoll Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide support to one or more graduating seniors who embody Driscoll’s spirit. More details on providing support for this effort can be found here.
l Aaron Strong, a 1992 Linn-Mar graduate, resides in the Washington, D.C., area.