Ryan Taylor Parks, born March 10th, 1984, to beloved parents Kevin and Cynthia Parks, a fifth generation Arizona native, residing in Phoenix, for all 39 years of life. On Sunday July 16th, 2023, Ryan became absent from his body to be present with the Lord.
Fearless First Steps:
From the beginning it would seem Ryan was afraid of nothing. Fresh out of the neonate phase; and straight into the deep end of the pool. Always wanting to take the adventure to the next little bit further. I remember well when all the neighborhood kids got together to build bike ramps for jumping, everyone would be looking for recruits to test out their new contraption for the first time, while Ryan would be volunteering. In fact, I recall several times he would already be peddling as fast as he could, barreling down toward what we thought would be certain injury. All of us Yelling “STOP!“ before they even had it sturdy enough to not wobble. I recall, what might have been our very first family vacation. One of many great childhood memories. It was off to California to take in Disneyland, Sea World, and most definitely, the ocean and the beach. We weren’t out of the car & walking through the sand towards the water for more than five minutes & “there he goes” , his blonde hair flying in the wind, a stained white T-shirt, and a baby diaper. Those little legs, running so fast you’d thought he had wheels rolling under him. Heading for the big blue abyss. Now the first wave almost knocks him down and where most would turn and walk away with fear in their eyes; Ryan sees it as a revenge mission. Unable to stand up anymore by the second wave he was well on his way to being a castaway… Stuck on an island trying to float empty bottles with notes for help jammed inside. Frantically, our poor father says some single syllable phrase with real worry in his voice. So, with pants pockets all loaded with his wallet, checkbook and pocket watch and other such items he darted into the ocean to get his little bundle of joy before he could be seen ending up on the back of a sea lion with an imaginary saddle riding in the seahorse rodeo… Our father out of breath, our mother a nervous wreck, and my brother soaking wet! With a waterlogged diaper and a grin on his face bigger than the gap between his ears.
The paragon of his desires:
“When I was young, a teacher had forbidden me to say “more perfect” because she said if a thing is perfect, it can’t be more so. But by now I had seen enough of life to have regained my confidence in it.”
I have never seen someone have the capabilities of such perfection obtained so quickly. When in the active pursuit to achieve excellence where his heart’s desires lay, stand aside and watch the magic take hold as the paragon of excellence is revealed. Naturally athletic in his younger years he played many sports such as baseball, football but most memorable was how he excelled in gymnastics. Competitively as a gymnast he was amazing to see and has the awards to show for it. His achievements would become a key for him. This key would unlock more adventures beyond his wildest dreams as he would travel to compete in such places as Hawaii. When informed he could take a companion to travel the tropical paradise, he would ask along his best friend also referred to as his Mother. They had so much fun! Those were some of his favorite times.
Music was a very big part of his life and as a drummer he found a passion that would be a constant source of inspiration and happiness. I never saw such a smile on his face as when he was playing on a drum kit. He would always light up with excitement when music was the topic. That’s the way I would like to remember him. The times when he wasn’t over thinking the world and its problems. When his smile was a real genuine one that had happiness glowing out of his eyes…I have seen him at his best I also have seen him in his struggles to be free of his demons when he was at his worst. Ryan was misunderstood by a-lot of people. He sometimes had a very complex way of verbalizing some of the concepts he had. When you took the time to listen without being interrupted and realized what he was saying without letting the distractions get in the way. Usually, it would be something that would be on your mind pondering the depths of something larger than what you were usually thinking about. His perspective was one of a kind. I’ve witnessed a performance of perfection from him when he was really trying hard, man he was real hard to compete with.
Ryan is preceded in heaven by his beloved parents Kevin & Cynthia “Cyndy” Parks. He is survived by his older brother James Parks & beloved niece Faith Marie Parks.
“Each one of us will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give, or more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so, it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them – we can love completely without complete understanding.”
Ryan’s celebration of life will be held on Sunday, August 6th at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix AZ 85018. Visitation will be at 3P.M. with a Memorial Service to begin at 4P.M. Ryan will be laid to rest the following morning, on Monday, August 7, 2023 at 9:00A.M. at Double Buttes Cemetery, 2505 W. Broadway Road, Tempe AZ 85282.