The Salvation Army Hall in Faulconbridge was overflowing with people last Thursday at the funeral service for Lawson teenager Mikey Ryall, who drowned at Wentworth Falls Lake on April 23 doing what he loved best, fishing.
It was standing room only inside and the crowd extended into the outdoor courtyards in a true demonstration of love for Mikey and sympathy and support for his family.
A beautiful image on canvas of the popular 16-year-old Springwood High School student was displayed at the moving service, which began with the playing of Crowded House song Don’t Dream It’s Over and concluded with Keith Urban track Days Go By.
In a moving speech, Mikey’s father, Ian, shed light on the type of person his eldest son was.
“Mikey woke up each morning excited by what the day would bring and what adventures lay ahead.
“He loved life and loved it even more if he could make someone laugh.
“Fishing was his passion and it brought him so much joy.
“His brother was his best mate and confidant.
“He loved his mother dearly.
“I will always love you my son, always.”
Mikey’s mother, Donna and younger brother, Matthew, spoke lovingly of him, sharing tales celebrating his cheerful nature, sparkling blue eyes and wonderfully cheeky sense of humour.
“He was so funny — I loved the fact he just did things (spontaneously) and never cared what other people thought,” Matthew said.
“I will miss him so much.”
Mikey’s girlfriend, Cassie Dennis, fought back tears as she said “I can’t believe you are not here, Mikey”.
“I felt so lucky that you picked me. I loved everything about him. He always had the right thing to say.”
The Ryall family thanked the community for their “prayers, love and support at this time” and invited funeral attendees to join them after the service on the banks of Wentworth Falls Lake to celebrate the remembrance of Mikey’s life.