Surf’s Undertow Claims Spokane Man Timothy Deryan Had Tried To Get Freedom For Autistic Brother
A Spokane man drowned this week after hopping into the Pacific Ocean when he stopped for gas near Long Beach, Wash.
Timothy DeRyan, 35, a computer consultant who’s been trying to get his autistic brother released from Eastern State Hospital, died Monday.
DeRyan and his girlfriend were driving to San Francisco from Spokane for a friend’s wedding. They went out into the surf about 3 p.m. Monday and began to swim parallel to the beach, according to a Long Beach police department press release.
DeRyan’s girlfriend made it back to shore, where she told a passer-by that DeRyan was in trouble from the undertow. The witness called police.
After about 10 minutes of searching, DeRyan was located, pulled from the water and taken to Ocean Beach Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Services for DeRyan are scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday at St. Aloysius Catholic Church.
DeRyan graduated from Coeur D’Alene High School, the University of Idaho and from the University of San Diego with a master’s degree in practical theology.
Along with other members of his family, he’s worked for the release of his brother, Michael DeRyan, from Eastern. The autistic man has been at Eastern for almost 16 months, and the fight to release him has garnered attention statewide.
“They were best friends growing up,” said Juanita DeRyan, sister of Michael and Timothy DeRyan. “They were very close, very connected.”
Timothy DeRyan composed piano music and started Catholic groups for single people. He left quarters in phone booths and helped homeless people find shelter, his sister said.
“He was so gifted and loving and he just gave,” she said. “He always gave to everyone and anyone, no matter what their circumstance or walk of life.”