Ryan David Findley, 45, of Pau, France and formerly of Orrville passed away peacefully on October 25, 2023 after a courageous 9-year battle with colon cancer.
Ryan was born in Wooster, Ohio, March 22, 1978, to Linda (Gavin) Combs and David “Rick” Findley. A 1996 graduate of Orrville High School, he was active in band, choir, drama and was inducted into the National Honor Society. He also enjoyed participation in 4H. He was a member of Christ United Church of Christ in Orrville where he was an active participant in the youth group and traveled on several mission trips. Upon high school graduation, he attended The University of Toledo to study international business and French. His final college semester was spent in a study abroad program at University of Pau in France. He quickly fell in love with the culture there and subsequently took up permanent residence in Pau. He taught English at the Language Institute and continued studying at University of Pau, earning his MBA in 2004. He then worked at University of Pau as the assistant director for the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC).
Ryan’s vibrant personality served him well in making many new friends in France. They celebrated American Holidays in traditional fashion, cooking a turkey at Thanksgiving and grilling burgers on the Fourth of July. Throughout the years spent abroad he consistently kept in close contact with friends and family in the United States. He was a gracious host and excellent tour guide when they visited him in France. His fondness for castles and historic sites prompted travels throughout France, Europe and India. Simply said, Ryan lived life to the fullest in achieving his academic and career goals, meeting people, making friends, and traveling.
Ryan is survived by his partner Olivier Labat of Pau; his mother Linda and stepfather Steve Combs; father David “Rick” Findley; brothers Chad (Noelle) Findley and Scott Findley; step brothers Jason Combs, Joe (Liz) Combs and Dan Combs; nieces Lana and Karma; nephew Gavin; along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by grandparents Roland and Hannah Gavin, Doyle and Connie Findley; and uncle Russ Findley.
While burial has taken place in France, a celebration of a life well lived will be held on November 18, 2023, at Christ United Church of Christ, 301 North Main, Orrville. Visitation will be two hours prior to the service at noon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Christ United Church of Christ Youth Fund or Orrville High School Arts Programs.