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In memoriam: Taylor Albert Rydahl, graduate student in computer science

March 23, 2017

Taylor Albert Rydahl
Taylor Albert Rydahl

Taylor Albert Rydahl, 22, a Ph.D. student in the computer science department in the College of Engineering, died March 14 at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke.

He was born July 22, 1994, in Chicago to Keith Albert Rydahl and Margie Hoff.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his little sister, Stephanie, stepparents, Craig Hoff and Carol Ann Rydahl, two grandmothers, and countless aunts, uncles, and cousins. He will be remembered his beloved girlfriend, Alicia Clark; friends, rugby buddies, family dogs, and every single person whose life was richer because of him.

Taylor was a brilliant, kind, and soft-spoken child, who loved writing stories, reading, and playing Pokémon. His genuine belly laugh could light up any room. He truly came into himself in high school, where he went from a sweet shy boy to a blue-haired, charismatic prom king who was voted Most Friendly. It was there he found a new passion in rugby, where he played with the Kenosha, Wisconsin Vultures. 

He graduated from Lakeview Technology Academy, engulfed in praises from his teachers and with lifelong friendships intact. From there it was only up for Taylor.

He would go on to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he would continue his love for rugby with the Oshkosh Mighty Pigs. They affectionately called him “Taylor-Made” or “T-made” because he was excellent at everything. 

In his last years of college, he moved in with the rugby guys and created a home filled with friendships that will never fade. After graduating Oshkosh, his degree in computer science and mathematics in hand, he continued to Virginia Tech for his Ph.D. in computer science on a full scholarship. There he shared his brilliance, kindness, and compassion with them in the last months of his life.

Funeral services honoring Taylor’s life will be held on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home in Kenosha. Interment will follow in Green Ridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances in Taylor’s name to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, 720 E Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202 or to Taylor Rydahl’s Memorial Fund at heart.org, would be appreciated.

Story submitted by the Rydahl family.

Those in the university community who may wish assistance or desire counseling support may contact:

  • Cook Counseling Center at 540-231-6557
  • Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787
  • Office of Housing and Residence Life at 540-231-6205
  • Department of Human Resources / Hokie Wellness at 540-231-9331
  • Employee Assistance Program
    • Anthem at 855-223-9277
    • Aetna at 888-238-6232 (company name: Commonwealth of Virginia, username: COVA, password: COVA)
    • Kaiser Permanente at 866-517-7042
  • Referrals to a campus cleric may be done through the Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787.

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