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Ryan M. Morin

Allston

Ryan M. Morin lived for music and was a big fan of the heavy-metal band Van Halen. ''I called him Van Halen fan number one,'' his mother, Susan, of Thompson, Conn., said. Though Morin, 31, lived in Allston and commuted to his job as a software engineer at Guardent Inc. in North Providence in a red Jeep, he still had belongings in his bedroom at his mother's house.

"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.