Rylan Newman was determined to fill his life with great adventures

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 | 5:51 p.m. CST; updated 10:12 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 1, 2014

COLUMBIA —The last year of Rylan Newman's life was filled with adventures. He went for nature walks in Forest Park when he was in St. Louis, saw a herd of deer running in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and drove a golf cart at the Ladies PGA Solheim Cup golf tournament in Parker, Colo.

His life was filled with fun activities and new experiences, his mother Sharon Newman, said. "He was never in any one spot," she said. He was always on the move. 

Rylan Roy Newman of Columbia died Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, after a three-year battle with leukemia. He was 6.

Rylan was identified as a Miracle Kid for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, one of America's leading charities. That connected him to the Mizzou Dance Marathon, a student-run organization that raises money for hospitals that serve children.

He and his family have been a part of the Delete Blood Cancer, a national bone marrow registry supported by MU students during the annual Homecoming Blood Drive. The family also participated in Be The Match, a national bone marrow program.

Rylan was born March 21, 2007, in Columbia, to Mark and Sharon (Morris) Newman.

He went to the Early Childhood Education Center from 2010 to 2012 and attended West Boulevard Elementary School from 2012 to the spring of 2013.

His mother said he loved riding the bus to school and the other kids enjoyed having him on the bus.

Rylan had that kind of effect on people, not just in Columbia but across the world, his mother said.

He loved life on the farm and spent a lot of time helping his dad with chores. Once he tried to pick up a 50-pound hay bale by himself. He struggled to get it onto the trailer until his dad picked up the other side and they did it together.

"He loved being outdoors," Mark Newman said.

Rylan was a hard worker, but he also knew how to have fun, his mother said.

He liked to drive his green, battery-operated John Deere tractor across the yard, stage sword fights with his brothers and dance in the rain in his black rubber boots. 

"He enjoyed every single minute of his short life," Sharon Newman said. "He filled our life with laughter." 

"Ry was such a special kid," his father added. "He had the potential to do whatever he wanted.  He taught so many people what life should be about."

Rylan Newman is survived by his parents, Mark and Sharon Newman; two brothers, Brenden Bremer and Alex Tennill, both of Columbia; his grandparents, Milton and DeVonna Newman of Mina, S.D., and Raymond Griffin and Jane Jeffries of Columbia; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

His grandparents, Roy Carl Morris and Margaret Morris Griffin died earlier.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will immediately follow.

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