Ryan Lee Thornton, Sr. served in the U.S. Navy prior to starting a career in the fire service. He started his firefighting career with the Long Beach Fire Department and rose through the ranks to captain during his 18-year service. Outside of work, he donated his time as a youth basketball coach, youth mentor and volunteered for the Long Beach Fire Department children’s charity. Ryan’s hobbies included spending time with his family on vacation, sports, mentoring youth and practicing his faith. Ryan succumbed to the effects of a job-related illness in September of 2015.