Ryan Gordon Damberger- lightworker, stargazer, loving father, stonemason, artistic genius, bringer of peace and kindness, skilled baker, lover of color, voyager of the Earth- went to be amongst the stars under the last full moon of the year on December 27, 2023.
Ryan was born on July 28, 1989, in Havre, Montana to parents Butch and Kathy Damberger and joined two sisters Kristin and Kelly. He spent his first two years in Havre before the DamFam moved to Bozeman in 1992 where he grew up, attending schools in Bozeman and graduating from Bozeman High School in 2008.
As parents we were profoundly blessed to witness the beautiful evolution of Ryan's love- a love that radiated kindness, empathy, and an unwavering commitment to family. Ryan brought immeasurable joy to our lives, and his memory will forever serve as a reminder of the enduring power of a son's love for his mother and father.
Ryan shared an extraordinary and adventuresome relationship with his sisters, Kristin and Kelly. Their bond was more than just familial; it was a tapestry woven with threads of love, resilience, and shared laughter. They often talked about their adventures in Uganda and China, so many stories and heartfelt laughs about the great times they had together.
Ryan was a great athlete and excelled at whatever sport he participated in. Whether playing football, basketball, or track, he approached every competition with unmatched determination. His sense of camaraderie and loyalty formed deep connections, and he will be remembered for the genuine kindness and warmth he shared with everyone he encountered on and off the field.
Ryan cherished the bonds of friendship, and throughout his life he was fortunate to share an unbreakable connection with Grant Brunton. From their early days of childhood, navigating the adventures of youth together, to standing side-by-side on the momentous occasion of Ryan and Chloe's wedding, Grant was not just a friend; he was a brother in every sense of the word. Their enduring friendship was a testament to the strength of camaraderie and the impact of shared memories. Their bond remained a source of comfort and strength for Ryan.
One of Ryan's greatest accomplishments was being a father to his cherished Aeva. His love for her was boundless and unconditional, shaping her world with warmth, kindness, and endless encouragement. He cherished every moment spent with her, finding joy in simple pleasures like bedtime stories, laughter-filled playdates, and the pride that radiated from her accomplishments.
Ryan met his soulmate and love of his life Chloe in 2019, and they were married in July 2022. In the face of adversity, her love for him shone like a guiding light, a beacon of unwavering support that illuminated even the darkest corners of their shared battle against cancer. Through the relentless storm of pain and uncertainty, she stood by his side with a grace that transcended the boundaries of mere spousal commitment. Her love was not just a sentiment but a powerful force, a source of solace and strength that fueled his fight.
Ryan never once complained about the lot he was given. He strode through the last year with strength, kindness, grace, and an unwavering courage that bolstered the rest of us in our darkest moments of fear and uncertainty. He was so brave, and still so perfectly Ryan, in every single moment.
If you knew Ryan, you knew his kindness. Even on his last day Earthside, he was making sure everyone around him was going to be alright when he finally took his trip to the other side. He spoke kindly and intentionally sat and listened to each person who visited, making jokes, and giving hugs until his last few hours when he gently fell asleep holding his daughter Aeva's hand. At 3:00 am, when everyone was peaceful and asleep, and he knew all things were calm and going to be okay- he departed.
We are honored to have been there for every step of this journey with Ryan. He continues to inspire, even now. His determination, and immeasurable love in every moment of his battle gave so many of us a perspective unlike any we have ever known. Being happy is a choice, loving and giving fully of yourself is a gift, and life in every one of its moments both painful and beautiful is an irreplaceable privilege.
Ryan will be deeply missed by his many family members and countless friends from all over. Ryan is survived by his loving wife, Chloe; his beloved daughter, Aeva; parents, Butch and Kathy Damberger; sisters, Kristin (Chris) and Kelly (Scott); grandmothers, Jean DeVore (Hardin, MT) and Shirley Damberger (Cut Bank, MT); and his many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Ryan was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Gordon DeVore and Frank Damberger.
We will celebrate Ryan's life on what would have been his 35th birthday- July 28, 2024, time to be announced. His Celebration of Life will take place at the Montana State University Student Union Building on the campus where Ryan spent so much of his childhood and adulthood. We invite anyone who would like to attend to come celebrate his joy, his lively gentle way of existing, his passions, and his strength.
Ryan did not want anyone to fall into despair with his passing but asked that it give motivation to live more fully every day and seek happiness in each moment. He did all those things up until his very last hours- he was continuing to give so wholly of himself, even then. We are so honored. To have known him is to have loved him.
The family of Ryan would like to express their deepest appreciation to Greater Rocky Mountain Stone and the entire team for their unwavering support during this challenging time. Your kindness has left an indelible mark on our hearts, and we are grateful for the compassion and humanity you displayed throughout Ryan's fight.
In lieu of flowers, Ryan asked that donations be made to the American Cancer Society to support furthering research of colorectal cancer and gene mutations, and to provide support and education for those in need.
He's in the stars- don't forget to look up.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com