Elizabeth Gladys Ryan, 98, passed away peacefully with her family at her side on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, at her daughter’s residence in Hayward.
She was born on Nov. 8, 1922, in California, the daughter of Rudolph and Mina (Johnson) Swenson. She attended school, K-12, in Garden Grove, California, followed by two years at Fullerton Junior College (noting that she didn’t graduate). She was united in marriage to Charles Ryan on June 27, 1943, in Orange, California. She met Charles during World War II at a local drug store in Garden Grove and they married after a brief period of dating. At the end of the war, in 1945, they moved to Elgin, Illinois, where Charles parents lived. They lived in Elgin two different times, with a year and a half in Champaign in between. In 1959 they moved to Aurora, Illinois, where they owned and operated a Dog ‘N Suds Drive-In Restaurant, until the late 1960s. Then began their journey north, with stops in DeKalb, Illinois, Winona, Minnesota, and Balsam Lake, Wisconsin. In the mid-1970s they finally settled in Hayward, where they purchased and operated the Burger Chief Restaurant on Main Street. Mother then spent a number of years as a secretary for Gene McNutt at Carpe Diem Community Support, until her retirement in the early 2000s.
Her interests included arts and craft, particularly photographing area flora and fauna, as well as a very good skill of drawing figures, etc. In later years, she enjoyed crossword puzzles, iPad card games and TV game shows. In her youth she was a member of the Daughters of Rebekah/Theta Rho Girls, a branch of the Odd Fellows. In Hayward she was involved with the Loyal Order of the Moose for a number of years, as well as a life member, holding all major offices, of the VFW Auxiliary and the American Legion Auxiliary.
She is survived by her children, Charline (Fred) Huwe of Hayward, Patricia Warren of Hudson and Keith Ryan of Eau Claire; grandchildren, Christy (Scott) Taylor, Carlos Warren and Anna (Nic) Raths; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
In addition to her parents, Elizabeth was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Charles; her son, Robert; her sisters, Eileen, Dorothy and Thelma; and her brother, Stanley, in infancy.
Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at Hayward Funeral Home in Hayward. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at Ascension Episcopal Church, 10610 California Ave., in Hayward. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the St. Croix Hospice, 93 S Pioneer Road, Fond Du Lac, WI 54935 or Ascension Episcopal Church, 10610 California Ave., Hayward, WI 54843.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.bratley-nelsonchapels.com.