"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.
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.