BEAVER DAM, WI, USA U.S. Marines PFC, G CO, 2D BN, 24TH MAR, (24TH MEU, 1ST MAR DIV), 4TH MAR DIV, MADISON, WI LUTIFIYAH, IRAQ 11/25/2004
LCPL Cantafio was a gentle, caring man, devoted to his family and his wife Amanda. They met while working at a local grocery store. Cantafio was persistent and after quite a courtship Ryan and Amanda married on February 11, 2003.
Cantafio had joined the Marine Corps Reserves on September 11, 2001, his unit was activated just after the wedding and he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq.
“The last we heard he was up for a Purple Heart because his troops had been ambushed and he had to shoot four Iraqis but he saved his troops,” said his stepmother, Bobbie Jo Cantafio.
Ryan was an avid golfer, had many friends and a dry sense of humor, his grandmother recalled. “He was also very caring, especially with older people,” Rose Cantafio added.
Eloise Cantafio agreed, calling her great-nephew a “good boy.” “He was very dedicated to what he was doing,” she said.
Amanda Cantafio says that, when she last saw her husband as he was getting on a plane with his Marine Reserve unit, she told him she could not live without him. “I never thought I would have to,” she said.
Cantafio’s father Joe renamed his auto body shop. It’s called Ryan’s Auto. In October 2008 a section of Madison Street in Beaver Dam was renamed Ryan Cantafio Way to honor this fallen hero.