Aunt of Ryan Realbuto reacts after her nephew is laid to rest on Saturday

Remembering Ryan Realbuto

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Ryan Realbuto, 23, was laid to rest on Saturday during a private funeral after being killed in a botched robbery on January 18.

Ryan’s aunt Lynn Fenicchia said that there was a surprise announcement made during the funeral.

“At the end of the mass, the Capuchin Franciscan Friars, they deemed, they actually, deem Ryan an affiliate, which means he’s now a part of their Franciscan family without taking vows,” Fenicchia said.

Fenicchia said that receiving that designation would have made Ryan proud.

“They’ll have a day in their calendar designated to him, and Ryan would be overwhelmed with joy if he knew that this honor was in his name because that is the greatest honor he could have ever received,” Fenicchia said.

Especially after overcoming all of the challenges Fenicchia said Ryan faced earning his degree from St. Bonvaventure University.

“Ryan had overcome a lot of developmental delays all growing up. He worked really hard. Everything. Nothing came easy to Ryan and my sister worked really hard to get a lot of resources every step of the way to help Ryan reach his full potential,” Fenicchia said.

Realbuto was killed while walking home with two friends from a youth church event in Washington D.C. on January 18.

Investigators said two men pulled up in a car asking them for money, and when a man got out of the car demanding money from Ryan, Ryan was shot and killed.

It is a heart-wrenching moment for Ryan’s family but one that his aunt hopes no one ever will ever forget.

“There have been thousands of social media posts. This is the power of Ryan. This is exactly what Ryan was able to do. To touch human beings, just by being himself. And, he never did it by boasting or advertising what he was doing. He never bragged about the service he was involved in. Just being a quiet presence with an innate ability of knowing exactly how to give,” Fenicchia said.