Ryan Aumiller


I came across this angel card from Ryan with some of my Christmas stuff.

This Christmas I went without. First, I lost the use of my left arm. I really missed it. Having my arm in a sling because of rotator cuff surgery has rendered me helpless in many common situations.

I couldn’t do some very simple tasks that I had taken for granted…

For instance, I can’t cut my food, comb my hair, or  tie my shoes, but none of this compares to  the great loss I feel from the death of my close friend and creative colleague Ryan Aumiller.

The inside of the card. Bring on the waterworks. :(

Detail of Ryan’s heart.  😦

It has been nine long months….it is too hard to talk about. The situation is delicate because Ryan took his own life. We may never understand … but we will always know how he lived his life and that he never meant to cause us such sadness.

If he had died from a disease or in a horrible accident would it be easier to talk about? Would we have worn ribbons in his honor? Would we form teams in his memory? How do we go on from here?

Found this with my Christmas stuff... bring on the waterworks.

Found this with my Christmas stuff, it is few years old. [tear|

Ryan Aumiller was an angel on this earth. His memory will live on forever. I love the angel on this card that he gave to me, he looks so happy—just the way I remember Ryan. 🙂

PrattMWP 2012, Nancy Ford Photography

The Ryan Aumiller Memorial Award:
For Outstanding Progress in Communications Design

2012 marked a tragic loss for the Upstate New York creative community and particularly Pratt at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute.

Dan Sabatini WKTV

Click [HERE] for WKTV coverage of PrattMWP Convocation

In recognition of his outstanding dedication to the Communications Design Department at PrattMWP – The Ryan Aumiller Memorial Award was established to honor a student that displays outstanding progress and professionalism in communications design. This year’s class from PrattMWP was a particularly talented and wonderful group—but one student stood out as a clear choice for this honor.

Congratulations to LaQuaya Lee for her endless enthusiasm and hunger for learning and making. LaQuaya hails from ________ and will continue her studies of Communications Design in Brooklyn at Pratt Institute.

Leave Your Mark and Just Move Along *

The mark left in the ComD Lab by Ryan’s nature was friendly and funny, yet patient and professional. He had the tendency to explain things far more thoroughly than necessary. He took care of things, he was a fixer. He was a dependable joy to be with and work with. LaQuaya Lee displays many of the same wonderful qualities and also left her mark in the ComD Lab. (for example: the jpeg library of her face on each desktop) James or Phil, could you please post a gallery of those [here] available from this link?

Painting currently on exhibit at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art.


LaQuaya Lee at annual ComD Picnic – 2012

Click here to see LaQuaya Lee‘s behance portfolio.

* Ryan Aumiller – Mark (The Fossil Song) Lyrics
“Leave your mark and just move along”

[link to more photos of ceremony by Nancy Ford Photography]

What have we learned from Ryan Aumiller?

  1. Learn the rules THEN—and only then—break the rules.
  2. Software and font pirating are against the law – teachers and creative professionals must set a good example – no matter how tempting that new font is.
  3. Keep your desktop clean – Put the stuff you’re too scared to delete in an “Almost Trash” folder.
  4. Save, save often, and back up your important digital files.
  5. Never forget professionalism, generosity, and good catholic boy manners.
  6. Learn from your heros, work with people you respect, and never give up your integrity.
  7. more to come . . .

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of Ryan’s heros: 🙂

Stay hungry ~ stay foolish – steve jobs

if you would like to donate to the Award Fund
—please contact Cindy Koren at ckoren@mwpai.edu or 315.797.0000.
Apple tear logo

I’m not sure who created this sad apple logo, but to me it more powerfully represents Ryan Aumiller—than Steve Jobs. :(.It has been two months since the tragic day we lost Ryan Aumiller.

A sympathy card is now available with Kassandra at the School of Art reception desk for those interested in signing.

Kassandra will be taking pre-orders for a cd of Ryan’s songs and music….more information to follow.

I’m still working on putting together a compilation of his songs. His lyrics have provided comfort to me and helped me to cope with the loss of such a good man. IMHO – he was more than a good man—he was “the goodest.”


I found this letter I sent to Hamilton College in my document folder today.

April 10, 2011

Dear Search Committee,

I have known and worked with Ryan Aumiller for twenty years. As long as I can remember, he has been regarded as the premiere Macintosh expert and consultant in Central New York. For the last six years, I have had the great pleasure of working closely with him at PrattMWP | Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.

Beyond his undeniable technical expertise, Ryan has proven to be a man of substantial character. Moreover, Ryan’s presence and personality have greatly enhanced the environment throughout our campus. He handles every situation with the perfect combination of professionalism, grace and humor. No matter how stressful the situation, Ryan can be depended on to handle it with integrity and compassion.

I recommend Ryan Aumiller without hesitation, unless we count that he will be impossible to replace and deeply missed. I honestly can’t imagine getting on without him. There is no higher recommendation I can give.


Cindy Koren
Associate Professor, Communications Design

Aumiller Love

Ryan Awesome-Miller

June 14, 1966 – March 9, 2012

Trip to the Sun –  To Listen on Cloud click [HERE]
Words & Music by Ryan Aumiller
Copyright 2011 – All rights reserved

Lying on the grass
The stars look heavenly tonight
And you’re so beautiful
Holding onto me so tight

We knew this day would come
My journey started long ago
Decades in the past
Long before you and I were one

Time to kiss my wife and my daughter
And remind her all of those things that I’ve taught her
The final countdown has begun…

For my trip the Sun


Thinking about the past
This precious life that I have made
We’ve gotta make these moments last
Before our memories start to fade

And I’ve tried to do my best
To share my life and love with you
God knows how I’ve been blessed
How can there be something, better than this?

synth solo – bridge

Lying on the grass
The stars look heavenly tonight


full obituary and service info [HERE]

I’ve lost a hero, Ryan Aumiller was one of the kindest, most righteous and beautiful men this world has known. His dash made a positive difference in my life and the lives of so many others. This moving poem was recited at his funeral service. I hope it will bring peace to those who knew him.

Ryan W. Aumiller
June 14, 1966 March 9, 2012

The Dash Poem by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend
he referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning to the end
he noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years
for that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.
for it matters not how much we own;
the cars, the house, the cash,
what matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
so think about this long and hard.
are there things you’d like to change?
for you never know how much time is left,
that can still be rearranged.
if we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
and be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.
if we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
so, when your eulogy is being read
with your life’s actions to rehash
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?
poem by Linda Ellis

Aumiller LoveServices:

Visitation will be held Tuesday from 3:00-6:00 at St. Mark’s Church, 440 Keyes Road, North Utica. Ryan’s funeral service and Celebration of Life will commence on Tuesday evening at 6:00 at St. Mark’s Church immediately upon conclusion of visitation, where his Mass of Christian Burial will be offered. In lieu of floral offerings, expressions of sympathy in the form of donations may be made to the family to enable the establishment of a scholarship fund for Ryan’s daughter; envelopes will be available at the service. If you are unavailable to be present at the service or obtain an envelope, remembrances may be sent to the Eannace Funeral Home, Inc. 932 South St., Utica, NY 13501 and will be forwarded to the family.

Obituary for Ryan W. Aumiller

Ryan Aumiller

Mr. Ryan W. Aumiller, age 45, of Utica, a cherished husband, father, brother, nephew, uncle, and friend, passed away unexpectedly Friday March 9, 2012 in the privacy of his home.
Ryan was born Ryan Willis Aumiller on June 14, 1966 in Albany, NY, the youngest child of the late Richard and Gloria (Cappallo) Aumiller. Ryan attended school in Liverpool NY, graduating from Liverpool High School in 1984 and going on to SUNY College Oswego where he received a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design. After working a short while in Graphic Design, Ryan’s gifted technical skills led him to start his own company, Computer and Business, Inc. which later became Ryan Macintosh Solutions. As the economy began to limit his business opportunities Ryan accepted a position at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute including the Pratt School of Art working as a computer technician; a position he loved.
However, little did Ryan know that renting an apartment above Pizza Heaven in 1992 would lead him to find his own Heaven on Earth; his family. What started as a friendship, would, with one subtle hand hold at the movies, forge an eternal bond with the woman who would become his loved and cherished wife of over 16 years, Donna M Coppola. Ryan and Donna shared a love, devotion, and passion that anyone would aspire to find, yet so few do. In 2001, Ryan and Donna were again blessed with their greatest gift, their daughter Danielle. Ryan so loved his “favorite girl” Danielle and shared every interest and adventure with her, and especially loved their “Father/Daughter” Tuesday Dates.
As a young boy, Ryan’s extraordinary artistic ability and creativity stood out, in his sketching, his singing, his school projects, etc., he was magically creative and gifted with both his hands and mind. As technology advanced, so did Ryan’s ability to express himself as the digital era would provide Ryan an ideal median to express his heart and soul through music. With no formal music training and only as a hobby, Ryan demonstrated his talent as a singer, guitarist, and musician, composing and performing several original songs to be treasured by his family. Ryan was quick-witted, fun-loving, and always had a smile upon his face. Ryan’s repertoire of impersonations and sense of humor made every family gathering a complete joy. Ryan had the unique ability to diffuse stress with laughter and bring out a smile in the most difficult of situations.
In addition to music, Ryan’s many hobbies and passions included fishing, jet-skiing, enjoying local music, supporting numerous local charities, and spending time at his family cottage on the Great Sacandaga Reservoir in the foothills of the Adirondacks, but most of all being with his wife, daughter, family, and friends. He was a parishioner of St. Mark’s Church.
Remaining to forever cherish Ryan’s memory are his wife, Donna; and his precious daughter, Danielle; his brother and sister-in-law, Richard W., Jr. and Mary Aumiller of Clarence Center, NY; his sister and brother-in-law, Robyn and Greg Low of N. Syracuse; his maternal grandmother, Virginia Cappallo; nieces and nephews, Jon, Kevin, Cameron; Alexandra “Allie”; and Joey; aunts and uncles, Sharyn Cappallo, Kevin and Linda Cappallo, and Renee and Bruce Randall; great-aunts, great-uncles, and cousins; father-in-law, Philip C. Coppola; in-laws, Lori and Joseph White, and Steve Coppola; aunts and uncles of the Coppola family, especially acknowledging Virginia Coppola and her daughter Tina; and the many wonderful friends with whom Ryan was blessed throughout his life. Ryan was predeceased by his mother and father Gloria and Richard Aumiller; his maternal grandfather, Willis Cappallo; paternal grandparents, Walt and Connie Aumiller; and his mother-in-law, Dorothy A. Coppola.
Though tragically short, Ryan leaves a legacy of life, love and devotion, and will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends. Ryan will never be forgotten as his kindness, love, and friendship touched the lives of all those who have been blessed to know him. God Bless you Ryan as you are together again with your mom and dad. We love you.
The family would like to acknowledge the dedication of the Deerfield Volunteer Rescue Team; Donna’s sister, Lori for her valiant efforts; the St. Elizabeth Medical Center for their sympathy, and comfort; and Sue Cooper for her support and compassion. Donna wishes to thank her family and all the many wonderful friends for their support, love, and devotion.

mapVisitation will be held Tuesday from 3:00-6:00 at St. Mark’s Church, 440 Keyes Road, North Utica. Ryan’s funeral service and Celebration of Life will commence on Tuesday evening at 6:00 at St. Mark’s Church immediately upon conclusion of visitation, where his Mass of Christian Burial will be offered. In lieu of floral offerings, expressions of sympathy in the form of donations may be made to the family to enable the establishment of a scholarship fund for Ryan’s daughter; envelopes will be available at the service. If you are unavailable to be present at the service or obtain an envelope, remembrances may be sent to the Eannace Funeral Home, Inc. 932 South St., Utica, NY 13501 and will be forwarded to the family.

Ryan Aumiller Obituary from Utica OD

Click HERE to see why Ryan was too good for this world.


  1. Pingback: Ryan Aumiller—too good for this world. | studio505ny

  2. dzinermom

    Thanks for posting this Cindy – such a nice, positive collection of things we need to remember about Ryan. ~ Sue

  3. Corrie Baum

    I last corresponded with my old friend and Mac savior, Ryan, in 2007 or 08, when I moved back to Syracuse after a stint in NYC. I sent him an email to say hello & see how he’d been faring with all the changes in technology since we’d last seen each other in 2003.

    Today I thought of him and googled him, thinking it funny that my last name is Baum and my boyfriend’s is Miller, if we ever get married, mine will be Baum-Miller.

    I dropped my iPhone when the first thing that came up was his obituary.

    I am at a loss for words. Ryan was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and I’ll never forget him.

    Corrie Baum

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