Obituary for Glen Ryan
Glen Elden Ryan, 99, died Sunday, October 1, 2017, at his daughter’s home in Wildomar, California.
He was born Feb. 24, 1918, in Scott County, Kansas, the son of Alven Estus and Nina Mae (West) Ryan. He rode a horse to a one-room school house near Scott State Park and graduated Scott Community High School in 1939. He married his high school sweetheart, Helen Josephine Hopper, July 23, 1939, and they moved to Garden Grove, California, where they lived for four years before moving back to Scott County to buy the family farm.
He was a farmer and rancher all of his life north of Scott City, operating in Scott, Logan and Gove Counties. The “home place” just east of Scott State Park was homesteaded by his father A.E. Ryan in 1905. Glen was born and raised there. Other than the short time in California during WWII working in an aircraft factory, and volunteering as an air raid superintendent, he was a lifetime resident of Scott City.
In 1947 Glen and Helen joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) and were dedicated members all their lives. As the church has no paid ministry, Glen and Helen served many volunteer hours in teaching and leadership positions during their lives. Glen served several years as president of the Scott City Branch and president of the Kansas West District consisting of congregations throughout western Kansas, eastern Colorado, southwest Nebraska and the Oklahoma panhandle. To help him get to all the assignments he became a private pilot and enjoyed flying his own planes.
Glen worked many hours farming and doing church service, but also loved playtime with his family. There were many cars, motorcycles, ATV’s, boats and airplanes that helped create a strong bond between all family members that remains to this day. He is remembered in Scott County for his passion for nearly daily rides on his ATV’s in and around northern Scott County. He was proud of the fact he put five thousand miles on his ATV each year while in his 90’s.
Glen was a generous person not allowing for the suffering of the many travelers that ran out of gas, had a flat, overheated or just broke down on the long stretch of road by the farm. Never complaining or judging, he simply provided for whatever needs the weary traveler had and happily saw them on their way, most of them with a renewed affirmation that there are still good people in the world. He also had a very peaceable, forgiving spirit and taught his children not to judge, but to always forgive. He was the kindest, most patient man, even to the point of never expressing his anger.
When he could no longer drive, he went to stay with his daughter Tami in California. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he made a habit of taking morning walks and waving at every car or person who went by in the neighborhood, saying “Happy Day!” Those beneficiaries of his Kansas kindness speak of how he made their day and how much he has been missed since he fell and broke his hip. Glen truly was a bit of sunshine everywhere he went.
Family was central to Glen’s life and love. Dad, Grandad, Great-Grandad amazed many with his ability to name all 41 grandchildren and their birth dates, and most all of the more than 100 great-grandchildren. The reunions with his family were greatly anticipated and a highlight of his life. His last time was this past July where he was surrounded by those he loved for several days. His favorite saying was “There’s nothing more important than family.”
Glen missed and spoke often of his wife over the past seven years, referring to her as his Queen. It is with a mixture of loss and joy as his family remaining here let him go to be with her and their sons.
He is survived by his children: son, Dean and Deb (Lawson) Ryan of Garden City, Kansas; five daughters, Glenda and Leroy Glenn of Odenville, Alabama, Susan and Van Shaff of Cedar Vale, Kansas, Janet and Dale Unruh of Montezuma, Kansas, Tamara and Roger Brewer of Wildomar, California, and Sharlyn Ryan of Maricopa, Arizona; one daughter-in-law, Karen Ryan (Larry) of Scott City, Kansas; 41 grandchildren, 102 great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren; and a brother, Eugene Paul “Gene” Ryan (Betty), and a sister, Betty Ann Kough (Conrad), both of Scott City, Kansas.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Helen Josephine ( Hopper) Ryan; three sons, Larry Elden Ryan, Charles Everett Ryan and Jay Dee Ryan; one great-granddaughter Elizabeth Rose Lawson; three brothers, Chadwick Carol Ryan, John Elven Ryan, Max Marion Ryan; four sisters, Elma Lucille Harris, Pauline Beth Buehler, Dorothy Mae Schleman, and Maxine Mary Beckley.
The funeral service will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Scott City on Saturday, October 7, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at the Scott County Cemetery.
Condolences may be posted at www.garnandfuneralhomes.com
Garnand Funeral Home, 412 N 7th, Garden City Kansas, 67846 620-276-3219 is in charge of arrangements.