PITTSFIELD, Mass. — He may have lost his sight, but his vision was clear, and he lived by the words “Never Give Up."
When presented with life-altering changes to how he moved through the world, how he perceived and was perceived, his unwavering spirit met every challenge with a sage philosophy, elegant sophistication, and enduring grace. When his vision ceased, he compensated with his hearing, by taking verbal direction and continuing to master his beloved video games.
Ever curious, his brilliant mind eagerly continued seeking and exploring. With each loss to Neurofibromatosis, he courageously opened his eternally pliant heart to a select group of dedicated teachers, paras and aides. Vision loss meant it was time to learn through his fingertips and navigate his surroundings for potential obstacles with a white cane. He mastered each new task, maintained his independence and displayed his undeniable sense of humor. He used his sense of humor every day - one of his favorites being, “I’ll see you later. .. well you know what I mean.”
When his hearing ceased, he remained acutely in-tune to the ever present heartbeat of his family, and together they used tactile sign and Braille to share and converse.
Our Ryan was collectively held and cherished in each remarkable circle of which he was part. Ryan will forever be our warrior, teacher, and friend.
Ryan Ellis Wood, 19, of Pittsfield passed beyond the veil Saturday, September 22, 2018, at home, surrounded by his loving and devoted family.
Ryan was born in Pittsfield on January 7, 1999, the son of David and Julie (Sanginetti) Wood. He was a steam engine enthusiast, devoted Star Wars fan, gifted writer and artist, keen collector, ardent hobbyist, accomplished animal whisperer, and consummate foodie. A wise and clever soul whose sense of humor will keep us laughing forever. He managed to bring light wherever he went, and made a tremendous impact on everyone he met.
Ryan was a student at Stearns Elementary, Herberg Middle and BArT Charter, where he was named to the Honor Roll. He was most recently a student of Pittsfield High School. He was a parishioner of the former Mt. Carmel Church and a member of the Cub Scouts, Pack #1 and Boy Scouts, Pack #1 in Pittsfield
Ryan developed a special circle of support in his teachers, paraprofessionals, doctors, nurses and specialists, members of Camp Vision and Camp Sunshine, and many friends at the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield.
Ryan leaves at home David and Julie (Sanginetti) Wood, Tianna Houle, and his faithful companion Riley, "The Wonder Dog."
Ryan was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, David and Linda (Grady) Wood, and his maternal grandparents, Vincent and Virginia (Russo) Sanginetti. He also leaves his many loving aunts, uncles and cousins who traveled this journey with him. His family was the light of his life.
Funeral notice: Funeral services for Ryan Ellis Wood, will be held Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 11 a.m. at Dery Funeral Home, officiated by Rev. Geoffrey Deeker. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. Calling hours will precede the service from 9 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home.