RYAN ANTHONY MCINERNEY

1987-2021

Ryan was born to proud, loving parents Micheal and Johanne McInerney (née Anfossi) on June 1, 1987, in Geraldton, Ontario. He was deeply loved by his older sister, Shauna, and younger brother, James, the three maintaining a strong lifelong connection through humor, ingenuity, music, and philosophy. The McInerney family moved to Rainy River in 1992, where Ryan formed everlasting friendships.

As a young boy, Ryan was infinitely curious and questioning. His gifted mind was made known early and evidenced by his outstanding academic performance at all levels of study. Ryan was a sought-after hockey star, playing on national and international ice from a young age. In high school, Ryan met the love of his life, Sarah McInerney (née Hettinga), a wonderful woman whom he regarded as “astoundingly kind and brilliant, set apart from the rest of the world by her straightforward commitment to honesty and goodness.” The two courted throughout Ryan’s attendance at the Royal Military College of Canada and Lakehead University, where he earned a double Bachelors of Arts in English and Philosophy. He was later awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada scholarship, funding his master’s program at Queens University. Ryan and Sarah were married in 2008 in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Sarah’s home witnessed by family and friends.

The couple moved to Kingston, Ontario, both excelling in their studies at Queen’s University, fulfilling speaking engagements, and traveling to London to further academic pursuits. While exceeding in his studies, Ryan and his brother James were recording artists in The Red inForms. Ryan noted that the unwavering support of his champions, Sarah and father Michael McInerney, along with the wisdom and guidance of his committee, carried him through his research and the completion of his doctoral studies at Queens University, with several awards. Post-Ph.D. degree, Ryan and Sarah returned to the Rainy River district and supported his father and later his mother through their battles with cancer. While his father survived, his mother, Johanne, passed away in December of 2019. Ryan was heartbroken and would go on to author songs and poems in memory of his mother, and grow out his hair to raise funds and donate to cancer research.

Settling in a home on the Rainy River, Ryan and Sarah had two beautiful children, Atlas and André. Committed to this family and maintaining their location, Ryan taught in long-term occasional positions with the Rainy River District School Board and exemplified a strong passion for learning and a commitment to his students’ success. An avid fisherman and lured by the Lake of the Woods, he also fulfilled his desire to be a professional fishing guide both at Reel-Em-Inn Lodge and through his company Muskie King, naming himself “a student of the lake.” Ever dedicated to his primary field of study, Ryan maintained a position as Sessional Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Lakehead University, traveling to Thunder Bay and later working remotely. Ryan’s most recent contribution to the field of philosophy at large was a book dedicated to his sons Atlas and André, entitled “Philosophy and the Metaphysical Achievements of Education: Language and Reason,” published by the prestigious Bloomsbury Academic in July of 2021. The book was adapted from Ryan’s Ph.D. dissertation, which won the C.G. Prado outstanding dissertation award at Queen’s University in the philosophy program. Ryan’s proclivity toward deep thought led him to pursue relationships of equal depth, ever eager to learn and have meaningful conversations with his family and friends. This connection partnered with his humour and wit catalyzed his friendships, which he cherished deeply and nourished.

While Ryan had many talents and passions, his devotion was first and foremost to his loving wife Sarah and his children Atlas and André, of whom he was infinitely proud. Ryan praised Sarah’s patience and unconditional love for him and their children and beamed at Sarah’s artistic talents, remarking to guests about Sarah’s beautiful paintings in the home. He reveled in his children’s brilliance and found great joy in watching them learn. He was eager to share with them his love of music and composition, his passion for Northwestern Ontario, fishing, hockey, cooking, and critical thinking. Like him, Ryan’s impact is multifaceted. His memory will be honoured and preserved by those that love him and his ideas promoted as novel contributions to the world.

Ryan is predeceased by his mother, Johanne. He is survived by his wife Sarah (Atlas and André); father Mike; sister Shauna (Josh, Isabella, Geneviève, Élise Overgaard); and brother James.