Community gathers to remember Mumm | SLIDESHOW
By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Arlington Times Reporter
July 25, 2012 · 10:36 AM
ARLINGTON — Former Arlington student Ryan Mumm was memorialized by more than 200 of his friends, family members and other loved ones during an evening candlelight vigil at Twin Rivers Park on Tuesday, July 17, just three days after he was fatally shot in the head, at the age of 20, at Blue Stilly Park, just northeast of Island Crossing.
Although Mumm had since moved to Stanwood, the 2010 graduate of Weston High School was still remembered fondly by his peers, who had been notified of the vigil through Facebook by Carlee Duncan, one of Mumm’s many friends to share stories and shed tears over their fallen friend that night.
“I’d love to hear your stories about Ryan,” said Gary Mumm, Ryan’s father. “They’re all I have left of him now. I want to hear what my son meant to all of you.”
In spite of the somber occasion, the gathering broke out into laughter as several points, as those who had attended school alongside Ryan Mumm described him as a giving, happy-go-lucky, often mischievous character.
Duncan herself credited Ryan with teaching her how to snowboard, while several young women confessed to the crushes they’d nursed on him.
“He had this unbelievable way of making you smile, even when you were in the worst mood,” said Tiffany Dagget, who’d attended middle school with him, and who was the first of his peers to mention Mumm’s propensity for quoting the comedy movie “Anchorman.” “He was an amazing friend to me, as I’m sure he was to all of you, who could always make my day so much better.”
Aleks Lazovic expressed her appreciation to Ryan for staying by her side through her pregnancy, and alluded to troubles he’d experienced in more recent years.
“I’m happy that he’s in Heaven now, free from any physical or emotional pain,” Lazovic said. “It’s also really cool that his organs are saving 15 other people. We owe it to him to honor him through what we do.”
“His fearlessness gave me courage,” said Marcus Smith, another school friend who spoke admiringly of Ryan’s affectionately bantering relationship with his mother.
Shelby Southey first met Mumm as classmates in kindergarten at Presidents Elementary, and after a friendly wager on a race between the boys and the girls, they became each other’s first kiss.
“If the boys won, they got to kiss the girls, but if the girls won, we got to slap the boys,” Southey laughed. “Ryan was always trying to trick people into doing what he wanted. I’ll always remember him as this little ball of joy.”
Another elementary school chum, Dylan McFadden, drew chuckles as he recounted how Ryan stole his thunder in the cafeteria.
“I’d brought these bottles of tabasco sauce, and I was trying to get the other kids to take shots from them, and Ryan comes up and just downs the whole thing,” McFadden said. “All I could think was, ‘What’s up with this guy?’ He played it off like it wasn’t hot, but later, he told me, ‘Wow, that was hot.’”
Among the more tearful tributes to Ryan Mumm were those of his peers Ryland Ford, Alex Bickford and Taylor Summers. Ford praised Mumm for providing him with a place to sleep and meals to eat when he otherwise would have had none, and of reminding Ford of his role as a father. Bickford admitted that he and Ryan occasionally bickered, but felt grateful that they parted on good terms. As for Summers, he characterized Ryan as “just like his dad.”
“It’s so hard to say goodbye to someone who loved me when it felt like no one else did,” Ford said.
A suspect in the July 14 shooting of Ryan Mumm has since been apprehended.
The suspect is a 41-year-old man who lives in Tulalip and was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for murder in the second degree, drive-by shooting and rioting.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating the case as a homicide, according to Director of Communications Shari Ireton.
There is also a memorial fund for Ryan Mumm’s family, whose Facebook page is www.facebook.com/RyanMummMemorialFund.
Contact Arlington Times Reporter Kirk Boxleitner at email@example.com or 360-659-1300 Ext. 5052.