Obits – Leona L. Ryan
Leona L. Ryan, age 92, of Waconia, passed away Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at the Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.
Funeral Mass was held Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waconia with Father Bill Paron as Celebrant of the Mass; visitation from 9 a.m. until the time of the Mass at the church; interment in the church cemetery.
Leona Loriena Ryan was born on May 1, 1920 in Plato, Minn., the daughter of Carl F. and Sophia M. (Jenneke) Holtz. She was united in marriage to Woodrow W. Ryan on June 30, 1942 at St. Brendan’s Catholic Church in Green Isle.
Leona was the 12th and last surviving child in a family of 16 siblings. She grew up on a farm in Plato and prior to marriage work as a live in household helper for several families. Following her marriage to Woodrow Ryan they moved to Waconia where they lived, sharing 56 years of marriage. Following his death she remained in her home until the age of 91 when she became a resident at Auburn Home in Waconia.
Early in her life she became a working mother of three. She was a nursing aide at the Nagel Hospital in Waconia, until she recruited to start her 26 year career as the head cook and dietician for the District 110 Public Schools. In the summers she did restaurant and catering services. She lent her cooking skills to philanthropy, and created the famous and often requested Nickle Dickle Day barbecue recipe. For many years she also cooked for every fundraiser the schools and community could come up with.
She was a lifelong member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and was actively involved in the Ladies Guild and a member of the adult, guitar and funeral choirs for many years. The bell choir originated with her husband Woodrow’s memorial gift.
Leona will best be remembered for her incredible generosity to others, her always cheerful outlook, her positive attitude and her sincere concern for others. She had the biggest heart and loved to socialize with everyone. She will be missed.
Leona is preceded in death by her husband Woodrow “Woody”; daughter and son-in-law Patricia and Glenn Muehlstedt; great-grandson Matteo Martino; father and mother Carl and Sophia Holtz; brothers and sisters Clemens, Clarence, Ruth, Ruben, Sid, Reinhard, Dorothea, Benjamin, Lavern, Lorna, Otto Jr., Vernon, William, Hillard, and Martha.
Leona is survived by her loving family; daughter and son-in-law Margaret “Peggy” and Lloyd LaValle of Waconia; son Dr. William “Bill” Ryan and Kay Wyler of Stanford, Conn., daughter-in-law Sheila Ryan of Mahwah, N.J.; grandchildren Carla and Scott Seele, Mindy and Jamie Roux, Amy and Brian Strane, Mark LaValle, David and Joanne LaValle, Jodi and Dan Martino, Jon and Jazzmin LaValle, Michael and Susan Ryan, Matthew and Jennifer Ryan, Brynn and Corey Mood, Haleigh Wyler; great-grandchildren Catherine, Rebecca, Luke, Peter, Sarah, Gabriel, William, Mitchell, Jonathan, Sophia, Juliet, Gavin, Lauren, Alexa, Callie, Madeline, Emily, Gabriella, Rocco, Giuliana, Marco, Ellie, Maia, Declan, Rachael, Erin and August; sisters-in-law Delores Holtz of Hutchinson, Bea Holtz of Eden Prairie, Bea Koester of Glencoe; numerous nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.
Casket Bearers are Leona’s Grandchildren.
Arrangements with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia; www.johnsonfh.com.