Hundreds of family members and friends gathered at the First Baptist Church in Blountstown Saturday morning to pay tribute to Ryan Flowers.
Ryan, 17, passed away last Tuesday morning after a traffic crash on his way to Blountstown High School. He was a junior.
A member of the Kinard Volunteer Fire Department since he was 10, as well as a volunteer with over 500 service hours with Calhoun EMS, Ryan was honored by firefighters and emergency workers from all around the region. A convoy of fire trucks, ambulances and patrol cars filed into the church parking area as two ladder trucks formed a tower on South Main Street with an American flag flying in between.
Ryan’s classmates lined the steps of the church as members of the Kinard Volunteer Fire Department carried him into the sanctuary for a memorial service that ended with an emotional final call for Kinard 16.
Ryan’s father, Chris, posted an emotional plea to other parents on Facebook this week. “The reason I’ve been able to hold together is because I wanted to tell every parent and child I could to always tell each other how much you love them every day, every night and every time you hang up the phone. I would hate to see parents going through this not knowing if the kid knew how much they loved them.”
Chris went on to say, “Having Ryan as a son has made me a better person. He has made me want to help others and get involved just like he loved to do. Ryan was already an angel when he was here so I know he will have no problem.”
Keeping Ryan’s dream alive by helping other students succeed is a goal of the Flowers family. They have established the Ryan Flowers Memorial Scholarship Fund at Calhoun-Liberty Employees Credit Union. Contributions can be made to the fund in person at the Blountstown or Bristol branch or by mailing to: Calhoun-Liberty Employees Credit Union, 17394 NW Charlie Johns St., Blountstown, FL 32424.