OBITUARY

Richard Elwood Ryan

September 21, 1929March 5, 2018

Richard E. Ryan was born September 21, 1929 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. He died at his home on March 5, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Judge James E. and Marion Ryan, a brother, James S. Ryan, and a sister, Roberta Payne Donelson.

Richard graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1947 (He and his friends celebrated their 70th class reunion last summer). He attended both Central Michigan and Miami Universities, achieving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business. He later obtained a Master’s Degree in Vocational Education from Michigan State University. Richard spent four years in the Air Force as a mathematics instructor during the Korean War, then worked for Leonard Refineries of Alma, MI, as a marketing/sales representative. This experience brought him to Gaylord, Michigan - perfect for one who loved to hunt, fish, camp, and ski.

Richard was married to Joy Matthews Ryan for 21 years. They had two daughters, Wendy Ryan of Gaylord and Rebecca Ryan Fleis of Elk Rapids, MI. Mr. Ryan became a math and business teacher at Gaylord High School. He initiated the Co-Op Vocational Education program for the school, placing over 1400 area students in on-the-job learning situations with local businesses. He coached the tennis and golf teams, and was involved in many national, civic and athletic associations. These school experiences are the basis of some of the best stories and friendships of his life. He was proud to be an integral part of the growth and development of this community.

In 1975 he married Anna Schantz Price. The family blended and includes Mary Catherine (Dale) Millard of Grand Rapids, Judianne Shoberg of Grand Rapids, Dr. Debra Taylor of Gaylord, David Price of Severna Park, Maryland and Michael Price (deceased), as well as 11 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and many nieces & nephews.

After retirement, Richard and Ann moved full time to Santa Rosa Beach, FL where they golfed, and enjoyed their many friendships and church affiliations. In 2009, they moved to Grand Rapids, MI to be closer to their family. Richard was a member of the American Legion, St. Jude Catholic Church and enjoyed playing golf & pickle ball, and family gatherings. He will be remembered for his exceptional humor, ready wit, and natural ability to make friends & enrich the lives of others.

A memorial visitation will be held Monday, March 12, 2018 at 10 a.m. until the time of the memorial mass at 11 a.m. at St. Jude Catholic Church 1120 4 mile rd. NE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Faith Hospice of Grand Rapids, MI.

Services

  • Memorial Visitation Monday, March 12, 2018
  • Memorial Service Monday, March 12, 2018
REMEMBERING

Richard Elwood Ryan

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Darlene Nobach Bentley

March 9, 2018

Wendy and family, I am sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.

Dave Smethurst

March 7, 2018

A good man! Loved to go to Canada, to our camp, with him. Made a difference for young people and the people around him.

Jim & Barbara Kurbel

March 7, 2018

Wendy, so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. Our sincerest sympathy to you and your family.

Vicki Cherry-Burgdorf

March 7, 2018

Mr. Ryan was an exceptional teacher and mentor. He taught me so much in the couple of years of Vocational Ed. @ GHS. I learned a love of business from him. He pushed me to think and reach for goals that I might not have otherwise. I am grateful to have known him and learned from him. Mr. Ryan you were a great man. Rest well.

Dale McNitt

March 7, 2018

Mr. Ryan was one of the teachers I recently tracked down in my hunt for graduates and teachers for the up coming 50th Gaylord High School Class Reunion. I had not followed through on contacting him as that was my plan this week. I had only one class with him, Geometry, but it remains my favorite math class ever. Not because of the content but because of the quality he brought to his interaction with his class and me personally. He contributed to my life in a way I was not able to discern at the time. The kindness, humor and joy which he brought to each interaction is rare and his absence is felt. We need more Dick Ryan's in this world, sadly God made only one. Thank you Mr. Ryan and Peace to your family.

Donna Barnard Carmean

March 6, 2018

RIP Mr. Ryan,
You were one of the best teachers in GHS. The skills you taught us in D.E. Class and DECCA were valuable and practical for all the 36 years I was in the working world. A great teacher is never forgotten.

Bruce Moulton

March 6, 2018

Dick Ryan was probably greatest teachers in GHS history, by bringing the Distributive Education classes to the school. He was fun always enjoyed the class room with him and helping students get an idea of what they wanted to do in life. RIP Dick Ryan you will be missed. Always considered you a great friend.

Sarah Wallace Robinson

March 6, 2018

Uncle Dick, I can hear his laughter.... and storytelling, He was a kind, gentle, soft-spoken and loving uncle.

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Richard E. Ryan was born September 21, 1929 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. He died at his home on March 5, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Judge James E. and Marion Ryan, a brother, James S. Ryan, and a sister, Roberta Payne Donelson. Richard graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1947 (He and his friends celebrated their 70th class reunion last summer). He attended both Central Michigan and Miami Universities, achieving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business. He later obtained a Master’s Degree in Vocational Education from Michigan State University. Richard spent four years in the Air Force as a mathematics instructor during the Korean War, then worked for Leonard Refineries of Alma, MI, as a marketing/sales representative. This experience brought him to Gaylord, Michigan - perfect for one who loved to hunt, fish, camp, and ski. Richard was married to Joy Matthews Ryan for 21 years. They had two daughters, Wendy Ryan of Gaylord and Rebecca Ryan Fleis of Elk Rapids, MI. Mr. Ryan became a math and business teacher at Gaylord High School. He initiated the Co-Op Vocational Education program for the school, placing over 1400 area students in on-the-job learning situations with local businesses. He coached the tennis and golf teams, and was involved in many national, civic and athletic associations. These school experiences are the basis of some of the best stories and friendships of his life. He was proud to be an integral part of the growth and development of this community. In 1975 he married Anna Schantz Price. The family blended and includes Mary Catherine (Dale) Millard of Grand Rapids, Judianne Shoberg of Grand Rapids, Dr. Debra Taylor of Gaylord, David Price of Severna Park, Maryland and Michael Price (deceased), as well as 11 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and many nieces & nephews. After retirement, Richard and Ann moved full time to Santa Rosa Beach, FL where they golfed, and enjoyed their many friendships and church affiliations. In 2009, they moved to Grand Rapids, MI to be closer to their family. Richard was a member of the American Legion, St. Jude Catholic Church and enjoyed playing golf & pickle ball, and family gatherings. He will be remembered for his exceptional humor, ready wit, and natural ability to make friends & enrich the lives of others. A memorial visitation will be held Monday, March 12, 2018 at 10 a.m. until the time of the memorial mass at 11 a.m. at St. Jude Catholic Church 11240 4 mile rd. NE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Faith Hospice of Grand Rapids, MI.