‘Extraordinary’ Jake Ryan lovingly farewelled
HE survived the horror of the Bali bombings, and Jake Ryan spent every moment since cramming as much into life as he could.
Mr Ryan, 39, died after being struck by a train while jogging in Italy last month in a tragic accident just days after the 18th anniversary of the disaster.
Family and friends paid tribute to the charismatic, sometimes cheeky, but always loyal man during a moving funeral service on the Gold Coast.
Funeral celebrant Leanne Booker said he lived 'a wonderful, extraordinary, jam-packed life'.
"Jake was an extraordinary young man," she said.
"Life certainly threw some incredible curve balls at Jake (but) he certainly packed a hell of a lot of living in to those years."
His younger brother Mitch said you knew when Mr Ryan entered the room while his best mate Mark Woolnough said the tragedy of the Bali bombings had always stayed with him, but never defined him.
"He never forgot those who were killed (but) He never let the past drag him down," he said.
"He used to say 'If you look too much in the rear vision mirror you'll hit the car in front of you'.
"Bali only increased his zest for life."
A talented Australian rules footballer, Mr Ryan was on an end-of-season trip with the Southport Sharks when the bombs blasted through the Sari Club, killing one of his teammates.
Mr Ryan was injured in the blast, but recovered and became a staunch friend for many people affected by the tragedy.
For several years he worked for News Corp, including in his home town on the Gold Coast.
Friends from near and far watched the funeral via video after attendance was limited to 100 people due to COVID-safe regulations.
A huge turnout is expected to attend a celebration of his life at Metricon Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Originally published as 'Extraordinary': Jake Ryan lovingly farewelled