“Heartbreaking” is a one-word comment accompanying a contribution on the Ryan P. Bagley Memorial Life Fund established by Callahan’s Mountain Lodge owner Donna Bergquist in honor of the lodge cook murdered Saturday.
Investigators believe Bagley was shot in the kitchen of the lodge by Neal Brian Norman of Pacific Grove, California, who was later killed on I-5 when he was run over and killed after parking Bagley's car on the freeway and shooting at a motorist.
Norman’s family describe him as a man dealing with serious mental health issues. Why he killed Bagley and stole his car remains a mystery.
Bagley, 40, did not know, Norman according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s department.
For Bergquist and the others who work at Callahan’s, the loss has been terrible. Tim Pascal, a lodge employee, is fielding calls from media and others. “We really can’t even talk about it,” he said.
Pascal says they wanted to do something. “We established the fund to help the family who is trying to figure out what to do. But they don’t want us to talk to media or really anyone yet so we’re honoring their wishes.”
The GoFundMe page asks the community and those who knew Ryan to assist his family and two children. “He leaves a loving family, two children and countless friends and colleagues who loved him.”
As of Tuesday evening 36 different people have contributed raising $1,900 towards a goal of $10,000. All proceeds go to Ryan’s family to help with expenses of taking care of Ryan’s children and final arrangements.
Shannon and Kevin Tully, one of the first contributors, praised Bagley’s work at Callahan’s. “Thank you for all of your contributions to our amazing memories at Callahan’s. Your family will be in our prayers for peace and understanding in all of this massive tragedy. May you rest in His arms eternally.”
Pascal says the Bagley family is making its way to Callahan’s from California, trying to make arrangements and sort out the last wishes of a man who never expected to die so suddenly. Most all of the money raised is likely to go to funeral expenses, although Pascal indicated the family had not made any decisions yet.
The lodge is back open and serving guests, but the murder shook all who work there.
The Ryan P. Bagley Memorial Life Fund on the GoFundMe website is at www.gofundme.com/ryan-p-bagley-memorial-life-fund.
— Email Ashland freelance writer Julie Akins at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/@julieakins.