On Jan. 1, 2018, Ottawa lost a very special member of the community. Bryce Bilyeu, age 19, passed away. Bryce was a friend, son, brother, and a teammate.
Bryce was considered the quiet one out of the Bilyeu twins; some might even say he was the grumpy one. However, Bryce’s twin brother, Ryan said, “Bryce’s personality was very standoff. He seemed stubborn and grumpy to some people. He was quiet, but once you got to know him, boy he was not quiet. He was the funniest person and had the biggest heart. He could pick anyone up on their low days and make you smile.”
Here at OHS, Bryce played football and ran track. Ryan said, “Bryce was passionate. What he loved most was hanging with friends, playing football and running track. He was very passionate about succeeding in the sports he participated in and his goal was to always play at the next level.” Ryan’s favorite memories with Bryce from high school were simply being in high school together. “He made my life fifty times more fun. From morning rides to school, sports together, dances and outside school activities. High school can be tough for anyone as we all know, but with Bryce as my twin it was an incredible experience,” Ryan said.
In memory of Bryce, Ryan is planning to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Chicago on July 22 this summer. He is planning to raise money to donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. If anyone is interested in joining the run or interested in donating, do not hesitate to reach out to Ryan or Mara Hanley via personal message, text, call, etc.
Everyone who knew Bryce will miss him deeply, for he was an incredible person. “Bryce was my role model, the main thing he ever taught me was to never let what others think of you get to you. Always be yourself,” Ryan said.