Officer Ryan Andrew Hayworth, 23, succumbed to injuries sustained from a traffic collision during the early morning hours of Sunday, October 17, 2021. Officer Hayworth was on duty and faithfully serving the citizens of Knightdale at the time of his death. Ryan was born March 17, 1998 in Cumberland County to Timothy Paul Hayworth and Lisa Naylor Hayworth. Ryan was a graduate of East Wake Academy, Class of 2016. He joined the Army National Guard in 2016 and was actively serving as a Specialist at the time of his passing. Ryan served in Kuwait during Operation Enduring Freedom and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. Ryan was also activated with the Guard during Hurricane Ida. Ryan began his career in law enforcement with the Knightdale Police Department in July 2021, just three short months ago. His smile, compassion, and eagerness were all part of his powerful personality. Chief Lawrence Capps remarked that Ryan embodied all that is good and righteous during his time as a Police Officer. Although his service with the Knightdale Police Department was brief, Ryan made a lasting impact on the lives of his fellow officers, department members, and the community. His legacy of selfless service to others will live on for generations to come. Ryan was also a proud and active member of Faith Baptist Church where he served as a youth leader. He enjoyed playing the guitar, hunting, fishing, and video games. Ryan loved all sports but was an avid fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Carolina Panthers, and the Carolina Hurricanes.
Ryan is survived by his father, Tim Hayworth and wife, Kellie; his mother, Lisa Naylor Hayworth; his brother, Adam Hayworth and fiancé, Hannah Howell; stepbrothers: Matthew Besser, Andrew Besser; grandmother, Pat Hayworth; step-grandparents, Ed and Jo Ellen Glaze, Linda Barth; as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family, and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents: John Naylor, Lillian Naylor, and Clyde Hayworth; and step-grandfather, Larry Barth.
A community candlelight vigil will be held in Ryan’s honor at 6:00 pm on Wednesday October 20th at the Veterans Plaza in Knightdale Station Park. The general public is encouraged to participate in the vigil in lieu of attendance at formal services.
The family will receive relatives and close friends from 5:00 to 8:00 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021 at Elevation Baptist Church, 5271 EBC Village Way, Knightdale.
A service to celebrate his life will be held 1:00 pm, Friday, October 22, 2021 at Elevation Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Gethsemane Memorial Gardens, 809 W. Gannon Avenue, Zebulon.
Flowers are accepted or memorial contributions may be made to Faith Baptist Church Youth or Missions Funds, 2728 Marks Creek Road, Knightdale, NC 27545.
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