Kokomo boy who celebrated 'Christmas in October' dies

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A Kokomo boy who received thousands of Christmas cards last year as he fought an inoperable brain tumor, has died.

Eight-year-old Ryan Beining died Saturday at his home, with his family by his side. His parents, Nathan and Anita, held a special "Christmas in October" after doctors at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health told them they had done all they could do for Ryan.

"Our time was very limited and precious," Anita Beining said last October. "I looked at my husband, and I said 'I guess we need to have Christmas, pretty quick'."

Ryan got to open presents, including a beagle puppy he named "Mr. Hunter-Farmer," pictures with siblings around the Christmas tree, a visit from Santa Claus, and the thousands of cards from strangers wishing him well. His parents said the cards were coming in by the hundreds, from at least 25 states, thanks to the power of social media.

His obituary says "Ryan was a 2nd grader at Taylor Primary School, where his favorite subjects were science and math. He was a member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 4-H and Cub Scout Pack# 3506. He played baseball for Hague Water at Taylor Southeast. Ryan enjoyed hunting, camping, playing with Legos, swimming at the YMCA, fishing and participating in the Jim "Moose" Carden Fishing Clinic. He was also a huge fan of Duck Dynasty."

Visitation for Ryan Beining will be held Friday from 4-8 p.m. at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home at 1315 West Lincoln Road in Kokomo. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 1 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Kokomo.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ryan's Rally, c/o BMO Harris Bank. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Messages of condolence may be left online at the funeral home's website.