Although Ryan's father was not a lifelong heavy drinker, staying sober for nearly twenty years after his first stint in rehabilitation, he had become an alcoholic by the time Ryan was a teenager. Ryan later commented that his relationship with his father, whom he revered as a young child, had grown distant due to his drinking, stating that "[alcohol] made him more distant, irritable and stressed . . . whiskey had washed away some of the best parts of the man I knew. " When he was 16, Ryan found his 55-year-old father lying dead in bed of a heart attack, something Ryan later partially attributed to heavy alcohol consumption. Following the death of his father, Ryan's grandmother moved in with the family. As she had Alzheimer's, Ryan helped care for her while his mother commuted to college in Madison, Wisconsin. From the time of his father's death until his 18th birthday, Ryan received Social Security survivors benefits, which were saved for his college education. His mother later married widower Bruce Douglas.