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Happy Birthday Ryan!

Happy Birthday Ryan!  We miss you very much!

Ryan Piper in 1981
Ryan 1981

Today, Ryan would have been 34 years old with a ten year old son.  He made it to his 24th birthday before his untimely death.

Ryan Piper in 1983
Ryan 1983

You know I used to tell Ryan that I couldn’t wait to watch him lose his hair cause, you see, it was already receding a bit and both of our grandfathers on each side of the family were bald.  So I told him, “It’s going to hit you directly in the head.”  I am a bit of a stinker and picking on Ryan was a part of my daily activity.  Now he didn’t hold back any, he dished it out as much as he took it.  But that was the fun of having a sibling.  It’s funny the things we remember.

Ryan Piper in 1984
Ryan 1984

Ryan and I were 21 months apart, the same as Nicole and I.  Being pretty close in age, and being the two youngest grandchildren, we were sometimes two peas in a pod.  With his blonde hair and blue eyes, we looked nothing alike. He was a bit more reserved and quiet compared to me, but he was just as much of a stinker as I was.  My sister was the law abiding, strict, tattle tale that we would keep things from.  Ryan and I would brag to each other about things we got away with, things mom, dad and Nicole didn’t know.  We were never bad kids, truly we weren’t, but we did enjoy life with harmless, stupid fun.

Ryan Piper in 1985
Ryan 1985

I remember I couldn’t wait for Ryan’s 21st birthday celebration.  I was really excited to take him out. We had a great time going around to the local bars in Greensburg not getting drunk or stupid, but really enjoying the evening.

Ryan Piper in 1986
Ryan 1986

Ryan was a great guy not just because he was my brother, but because he was a very sincere person, alike like Kyle.  He may have been my little brother, but he sometimes acted like a big brother.  Of course being six foot tall at my five foot six inches did give him the appearance of a big brother.

Ryan Piper in 1987
Ryan 1987

We had a typical family. Not perfect, just typical.   We fought as kids growing up, but there was never ever a question of being there for each other when needed.

Ryan Piper Graduation from Latrobe High School 1996
Ryan's Graduation - Greater Latrobe High School 1996

Ryan was a smart guy- great with mechanics.  He was not only a hard worker, and I mean manual labor, but he had business sense.  He was like my pap, whereas they had too much heart, if you know what I mean.  They were too nice, if that’s possible.  Regardless, it made him who he was.

I could go on and on about Ryan, stories after stories, but I really just wanted to wish him a Happy Birthday!  More for me than him, but I think it’s good for Kyle to get to know his dad.

Do you have a story about Ryan?  If so and you would like to share it with Kyle or any member of the family, I would love to hear from you.  In fact, I will create a page dedicated to Ryan’s life so anyone can add stories as it strikes your fancy.

Published inEducation & LearningMilestoneObservation & ImaginationReminiscing


  1. O Markelle, it helps having friends like you and of course Kyle :). He helps to make the days livable. I agree I can’t wait to hang with Ryan again, it’s going to be the best!

  2. Markelle Sargent Harden Markelle Sargent Harden

    Heather Piper what an inspiration you are to ALL of us as we grow in life, and unfortunately lose those we love along the way to accident, illness, or age. You have taken a terrible, heart breaking tragedy and filled that hole with love, hope and selflessness. May you be a light and glimmer to those of us who need to learn this lesson. Happy Birthday Ryan, I can’t wait to meet you up there! It’s going to be FUN!

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