Tony Ryan, 38, engineer, St. Giles parishioner

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Anthony Michael Ryan, 38, died on Nov. 20, following an intense two-month battle with cancer. Born on Jan. 29, 1975, in Jacksonville to Catherine and the late John Ryan, he was raised in Waverly, attended Waverly Elementary and graduated from Waverly High School in 1993. He graduated in 1997 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. 

Devout from a young age, he was raised Catholic by his family and through service at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Waverly. His faith was always the core of his life and when he went to college, he continued his service at St. John Catholic Church in Urbana. It was through St. John that he met his future wife, Alexandra. The two bonded immediately over their faith and love for music and were inseparable from the beginning. 

After college, he moved to Chicago to begin a career in engineering. He and Alex married on April 28, 2001. After a brief move to Cleveland, Ohio, they had twin daughters, Abigail Marie and Emma Claire, in 2004 and returned to settle in Oak Park. He started working at Sargent-Lundy in Chicago. The family became very involved with St. Giles Catholic Church in Oak Park, in particular with the Family Mass community. In 2009, Tony, Alex and the girls welcomed Samantha Grace to their family. 

A man of boundless energy and laughter, he enjoyed the practical and the absurd, the big picture and life's little pleasures. He was an avid student of personal genealogical and American history. He also fell in love with astronomy at an early age and relished teaching his daughters about the stars which sparked his own imagination. He and his wife loved to go on summer road trips, and the entire family savored their traditions and jokes. 

He leaves behind a legacy of his values and his wisdom, one that will not be forgotten by those who had the fortune to know him. 

Tony Ryan is survived by his wife, Alexandra; his daughters, Emma, Abigail and Samantha; his mother, Catherine; his siblings, Ann Manning, Rita Robson, Mary Hickerson, Gina Hawk, John Ryan, and Brother Joseph Ryan, O.S.B; and a tribe of nieces, nephews, and cousins as well as an entire community of faith. 

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Nov. 25 at St. Giles Catholic Church in Oak Park. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at St. Sebastian Church in Waverly on Jan. 25, 2014 at 5:45 p.m. with a reception following. 

Memorials to either www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/join-team-ryan-in-their-fight-against-cancer-/93545 where condolences can be left on line for the Ryan family, or to Catholic Charities, www.catholiccharities.net are appreciated.

Reader Comments

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Myrna Hynick from Albia  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 8:22 PM

John, This a beautiful obituary! Tony must have been a very special person! Your mother should be proud of all of you! Love you, John!

well wisher from OP  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 4:27 PM

To the Ryan family, I don't know you, and I didn't know Tony. But in reading this I wish I had known him. He sounds like he was a wonderful person/human being who many of us should model ourselves after. God bless you Alex and your daughters. Know that you have thoughts and prayers of many with you. No doubt Tony will be with you always.

Tammy Daugherty-Holzer from River Forest  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 11:10 PM

Tony Ryan was a man to be admired and treasured. We, as a community, are privileged to have known him.

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