Ryan M. Morin
"The closet is crammed with Van Halen memorabilia," said his mother. Autographs of band members, compact discs, tour itineraries, guitar picks -- nothing was too trivial for the fan who traveled across the country to see his heroes perform and who emulated them as a guitar player in a garage band when he was in high school.
A graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, he worked as a substitute teacher in the Thompson public schools before entering the high-tech field. "He taught primarily in elementary schools," said his mother. "All the girls had crushes on him."
He was a happy, outdoorsy guy who seemed to always have a smile on his face, she said. He enjoyed kayaking and white-water rafting and planned to go on a backpacking trip to New Zealand in March.
"He had an amazing view of nature," said Spencer Ingram, a co-worker at Guardent. "He wasn't taking anything for granted. He just wanted to soak it all up."
Among the highlights of Morin's trip to New Zealand was to be a bungee-jumping expedition.
"He liked to live life on the edge, and he lived it to the fullest," said his mother.