News - December 9, 2009

Friend will remember Ryan Ferrari for his honesty and reliability

by Dave Boyce

One of Ryan Ferrari's particular talents was his deft handling of a paintball gun on weekends out behind his Woodside home. One of his particular gifts was his candor with friends.

"He was an excellent paintballer," his friend James Ronstadt told The Almanac in an interview. "I think, above all, Ryan was a great friend, a high-quality person who is just going to be tremendously missed by friends and family alike. We still can't believe he's gone."

Mr. Ferrari, 21, died in a car crash early on the morning of Nov. 28 in the Woodside Hills neighborhood. He was buried in Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Los Altos on Thursday, Dec. 3, after a memorial service at Our Lady of the Wayside church in Portola Valley, according to a mortician at Spangler Mortuary in Menlo Park.

He was on his way home at about 2:30 a.m. when he lost control of his car in the 200 block of Woodside Drive. In a series of collisions, the car hit two trees and another vehicle before it flipped over, according to Sgt. Wes Matsuura of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Mr. Ferrari was pronounced dead at the scene due to multiple blunt trauma injuries, the county coroner said. The driver of the other vehicle escaped injury, but was arrested on DUI charges, Sgt. Matsuura said.

"Really honest"

Candor and sincerity were among Mr. Ferrari's strong points, and his friends are "heartbroken" over his death, Mr. Ronstadt said. "He had a great heart. He was always someone you could really rely on. He was always up front with you and really honest with you, whatever you were talking about."

Mr. Ferrari's godfather, Andrew McIntyre, concurred. "You could always count on Ryan for an honest opinion," he said. "It was always in a polite way. He was just a really nice guy."

Mr. Ronstadt had met with Mr. Ferrari shortly before the accident and resolved a strain that had tested their friendship, Mr. Ronstadt said. A rapprochement had begun with a hug and a handshake. "Our friendship was headed on the right course for the first time in several months," Mr. Ronstadt said.

"Once you hung out with (Ryan), you wanted to hang out with him more," he said. "He just had that kind of rare personality that you couldn't forget."

While Mr. Ferrari was "very private," he was also "very personable and social," Mr. Ronstadt said.

Mr. Ronstadt and Mr. Ferrari had been school buddies since they met in the sixth grade at Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park, Mr. Ronstadt said. They attended Menlo-Atherton High School, but both left M-A before graduating. Mr. Ferrari graduated from a private school in Palo Alto, Mr. Ronstadt said.

Mr. Ferrari attended the University of Arizona, Menlo College in Menlo Park, and Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, and had plans to study viticulture and oenology at the University of California at Davis, Mr. McIntyre said.

"He loved to cook," he added. "He was a really bright young man, a real loss."

Mr. Ronstadt referred to Mr. Ferrari's somewhat peripatetic college career as "turbulent," and Mr. McIntyre noted that his godson had recently discovered his focus for college.

Mr. Ferrari's driving habits depended, perhaps, on the beholder. "I always knew he was a very risky driver, which is why I wasn't surprised that this happened," Mr. Ronstadt said. "He was always someone who drove a little too fast."

On this point, his godfather disagreed, having ridden with him and allowed his children to as well. "I never thought of Ryan as being a risky driver," Mr. McIntyre said.


Posted by Andrew McIntyre - Ryan Ferrari's Uncle and Godfather, a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm

My name is Andrew McIntyre and I am Ryan Ferrari's Uncle and GodFather. I would like to go on record that I formally requested that Mr. Boyce not run a followup article after learning that he did not contact Ryan'a parents for their permission, not to mention for an opportunity for them to be quoted for the Almanac's readership on what a fine, caring and talented young man that my nephew, Ryan Ferrai was.

I can not believe that Mr. Boyce continues to have no regard for my sister and brother-in-law who have experienced a parent's worst nightmare by republishing insensitive statements and reflections of who Ryan was from a friend of Ryan's from several years ago.

I can assure the Editor in Chief of this paper that the CEO's of each of their financial sponsors will receive a personal phone call as well as a letter from me describing the type of reporting content that they are associating their fine company names and business reputation with.

Andrew McIntyre

Posted by Elaine Lemler - Ryan's Cousin, a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

My name is Elaine Lemler and I am Ryan's cousin. I would just like to comment on how disgusted I am with the way this newspaper has handled my family's tragic situation. The reporter Dave Boyce clearly has no conscience or regard for my family's feelings. Stating that is was "a journalist's privilege" to run several insensitive articles. Not to mention all the negative/hurtful comments that have followed from various members of the community. Thank you to all the decent people who have expressed their sympathy and condolences. Instead of focusing on the information my father Andrew McIntyre had given on Ryan such as his love of animals, his love and devotion to his family and his amazing personality your reporter continues to use reference from a kid he went to high school with who didn't even know the young man that Ryan had become. If you had the privilege of knowing Ryan than you understand what a tremendous loss this has been for my family. Please allow my family to heal and give them peace. I love you Ryan and you will always be in my heart.

Posted by Richard Hine, editor of The Almanac
on Dec 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Richard Hine is a registered user.

I'm sorry that our recent story about Ryan Ferrari has caused so much consternation among members of the family and others who are posting here.

The story's intent was to tell how a friend will remember Ryan Ferrari for his honesty and reliability, for his candor and sincerity, and how much he will be missed by this friend and others. "He just had that kind of rare personality that you couldn't forget," said James Ronstadt.

And the comment from Ryan's uncle and godfather: "You could always count on Ryan for an honest opinion. It was always in a polite way. He was just a really nice guy."

Mr. Ronstadt's comment on Ryan's driving habits, not mentioned until the second to the last paragraph, is what has drawn most of the criticism. True, this is just one person's opinion. Someone else, including the uncle, had a different opinion, and that is pointed out in the next sentence.

We thought the comments were relevant. I understand that others see them as unnecessary and insensitive. We are sorry if they caused consternation for members of the family. That was not our intent. Our intent was to present the views of this friend and a member of the family about how they would remember Ryan.

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