Elda Mae (Keller) Ryan at 82 of Burlington, Iowa died at 4:05 pm Thursday April 19,2012. She was born in Burlington, Iowa on July 13, 1929 to Henry and Edith (Hendrickson) Keller at home.
She was a Burlington High School graduate in 1947. She attended Greenville College for two years. She sang in the college choir spring tours over the Midwest. She served as the choir's piano accompanist and for several men's quartettes. She served as president of the Free Methodist youth group in Burlington for many years. She was active in Youth for Christ ministries in the 1950's.
She married E. Wayne Ryan on September 11, 1955 at the Burlington, Iowa Free Methodist Church. The Ryan's have one daughter who is Mrs. Karen (David) Sykes of Cedar Rapids Iowa. Their son is Mr. Kevin (Janet) Ryan of Marion, Iowa. The Ryan's have five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Their four grand daughters who live in their own homes are Tonya, Veronica, Victoria, and Lynnde. Their one grand son Nicholas Ryan in grade school lives at home. Elda has prayed daily to ask God to draw family members and their spouses to trust Jesus Christ as their savior and lord.
Elda worked in the Jackson City Bank to support Rev. Ryan as he earned his AA degree from Spring Arbor Junior College in Spring Arbor Michigan. The college in southern Michigan is now Spring Arbor University. She worked in the college admissions office at Robert Wesleyan College outside Rochester, New York where her husband earned his BA degree in 1959. Elda supported her husband, son and daughter first by factory work as he continued his ministerial studies at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore Kentucky. Asbury Seminary is twenty miles outside Lexington, Kentucky . Her husband earned his Masters of Divinity degree at Asbury in 1962. She was hired as an assistant to the dean of nursing at the University of Kentucky. She helped chose the first nursing school bibliography for the college of nursing students.
The Ryan's have served as Free Methodist pastor and wife in six Iowa communities since July 1962. Rev. Ryan was appointed by Free Methodist bishops to pastor Iowa congregations in Columbus Community, Fairfield, Cedar Rapids, Knoxville, Mason City, and Burlington. Elda's and Pastor Ryan had a continuous pastoral ministry in these six Iowa communities totaling forty eight years. Pastor Ryan's last retirement was in June 2010. Mrs. Ryan volunteered her services in all six of their congregations. She served continuously in their congregations as the church pianist or organist. She also served as treasurer, Sunday school teacher, mid week children's program leader, women's missions' director, and church prayer coordinator in various congregations. She was always Rev. Ryan's congregational secretary.
Elda struggled since February 1998 with breast cancer when she had a massectomy. Over fourteen years she experienced numerous surgeries, radiation treatments, chemo therapy infusions, medications, and blood transfusions, along with numerous hospitalizations. She faced her medical procedures with a positive attitude of hope and appreciation to God and for care givers. She daily expressed her love and appreciatin for Wayne and family members.
Elda read the Bible through every year in various translations. She enjoyed reading Christian books especially those by Max Lucado. She enjoyed the word search books. She became the friend of many women from over Iowa. She shared her faith and counseled with scores of women in the community and in her own congregations. Daily she enjoyed praying to her God and Savior. She always expressed her love and thanksgiving to God for her Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. She assisted many families with gifts, home cooked meals, and with her words of encouragement through her ministry of sending hundreds of birthday, anniversary, and sympathy cards over the years.
Elda helped write the Ryan's monthly prayer Letter which they mailed to about a dozen family members and friends over the United States during their nine years of ministry at the Burlington, Free Methodist Church.
Elda and Rev. Ryan have enjoyed several overseas trips with Rev. Ryan's three brothers and two sisters and their spouses. The Ryan's have traveled with the 'Ryan clan" to Israel, Greece, and Ireland. They sailed to several Caribbean island countries during an eleven day cruise in 1998. These trips were sponsored by pastor Ryan's brother Ronald.
Pastor Ryan's ninety six year old Aunt Ruby Stevens of Austin Texas has financially helped the Ryan's and the Burlington congregation the past nine years. Mrs. Stevens and her first husband served as god parents to the seven Ryan children providing many gifts at Christmas time. Ruby Stevens is the sister of pastor Ryan's mother, Mildred Ryan.
Elda was preceded in death by her parents, her brother The Rev. Charles Keller and her sister Emma (Mrs. Wallace) Watterson who died in December 2011 at ninety years of age.
Services for Elda Mae Ryan will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday April 21 at Parkside First Baptist Church with Pastor Rob Carlton and other pastors officiating. The Family will receive family and friends from 6:00p.m. until 8:00 pm tonight in Lunning Chapel.
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I will always remember Aunt Elda's infectious laugh. One time when they visited in Indiana, we laughed so hard sitting in the car at McDonalds, the car shook! Her 100% strong faith in and love for God was always such a ... more
I love u grammy.
Dear Wayne and Family, We are saddened to hear of Elda's passing. We wish we could be with you in this time of grief. Our prayers are with you. May the "God of all comfort and Father of compassion" surround you with His ... more