Ryan Rutledge Miller, 29, of Kansas City, MO, formerly of Arthur, IL, passed away at 6:31 PM on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 in a motor vehicle accident in Emporia, KS.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at the Arthur Mennonite Church, 710 East Park St., Arthur, IL. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at the church. Pastor Glen Rhodes will officiate. Burial will be in the Arthur Cemetery. The Edwards Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Ryan was born on April 4, 1994 in Urbana, IL. He was the son of Lamar and Nadine Sue (Rutledge) Miller.
He is survived by his parents, Lamar and Nadine Miller, one sister, Natalie Borntreger and her husband Jory, and two nephews, Kollin Jeffery and Archer Ryan all of Arthur, IL.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Robert and Helen (Herron) Rutledge and Adlai and Clara (Mullet) Miller.
Ryan was a 2012 graduate of Arthur High School. He attended Hesston College in Hesston, KS and received an associate degree in animal sciences. He then transferred to SIU Carbondale where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a minor in landscape horticulture.
Ryan loved being outdoors. He was an Eagle Scout and an avid backpacker. Some of his many adventures included hiking the Grand Canyon from rim to rim as well as hiking the Half Dome at Yosemite National Park. He even was able to travel to the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador.
Anyone that knew Ryan, knew that he had a green thumb. Many nights, you could find him out working in his greenhouse or garden. He enjoyed providing plants and flowers to his many friends and loved ones.
Ryan always enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Playing games and just enjoying time together. His kindness and gentleness brought so much joy to all of those around him.
Ryan had worked at Sailfin Pet Shop in Champaign, IL. He worked at Scovill Zoo in Decatur, IL for four years, and most recently at the Kansas City Zoo since December of 2021.
His passion was working with animals. Ever since Ryan was 6 years old, it was his dream to work with elephants. This dream was recently achieved when he accepted a position as an Elephant Care Specialist at the Kansas City Zoo.
Please share Ryan’s love of the animals (or elephants) at the Kansas City Zoo and make a donation in his honor at www.kansascityzoo.org/form/memorial-gift or send a check for “Friends of the Zoo Kansas City” to: Ryan Miller Memorial Fund, Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr, Kansas City, MO 64132.