Saturday, November 26, 2016
11:30 AM EST
St. Luke's Lutheran Church
3215 4 Mile Road NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Friends may visit with Bev's family at church from 10:30 AM until the time of the service, and for a time following the service as well.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St. Luke's Lutheran Church
3215 4 Mile Road NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Gentle, gracious, and loving, Beverly Ryan was a blessing in the lives of all who were near. Bev devoted her life to her family, treasuring the numerous branches of loved ones who made her so proud. She was deeply dedicated to her faith and lived this out in all she did by showing Christ's love wherever she was. Life will never be the same without Bev here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
As the 1930s dawned, America was bracing for days of hardship as the crash of the stock market in October of 1929 had sent our nation spiraling down into the depths of what became the Great Depression for several years. Although the 1920s had been prosperous years, the years when Bev was growing up were anything but easy as jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and there were few who didn’t feel the strain. Despite the challenges around them, John and Lillian (Pahjola) Erickson were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their lives as they were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as winter held the city of Muskegon, Michigan, firmly in its grip in January of 1930. The big day finally arrived on January 31st when the baby girl they named Beverly Lillian drew her first breath. Later, sister Evelyn would complete the family. While growing up she was a typical young girl who enjoyed things like rollerskating, dancing, and music. As a student Bev attended local schools and graduated from Muskegon High School. Although she had hopes of attending nursing school, this wasn’t something that her parents were in favor of.
Not to be forgotten during Bev’s years in school was her introduction to the man who would change the course of her life forever. His name was Richard Sironen, and they began dating. With a desire to establish a life together, the sweethearts were married in 1950. They soon moved to Grand Rapids, which is where they grew their family to include six children in 11 years. After living in North Park for a time, Bev and Richard moved to a home that Dick built on 2nd Avenue, just inside Ottawa County.
From the time she became a wife and mother Bev fully immersed herself in these roles. She focused her time and attention at home and was organized in everything she did. Bev spent a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking and baking for her family. She was very supportive of her children and was there to cheer them all on, even if she didn’t entirely agree with the path they chose. Bev subtly let her children know that she had a few issues with their decisions, but she was there to encourage them no matter what. As a family they took several road trips, often throughout Michigan. Bev was also the family historian as well as the family caregiver, nurturing not only her own family but Dick’s parents and siblings as well. With a genuine servant’s heart, she made herself available for phone calls or to bring people to their appointments. Bev was even there for the day to day caring for others when needed. When her children were growing up she diligently took them to church, many years at Mount Olive Lutheran and Prince of Peace Lutheran Churches.
When her youngest, Rich, was in school, Bev joined the workforce. She found secretarial work for Haviland Enterprises, working for Don Ryan for 12 years. When a couple of their sons moved to Las Vegas to follow their dreams, Bev and Dick visited at times. They found that they liked it there, so they moved to Las Vegas for about 20 years. While there, she spent some time working in retail. By 2000, Dick’s health had declined to the point where they felt moving back to Michigan was best. In 2001, Bev was deeply saddened with his death.
Over the years Bev continued to make the most of the days she was given, and she truly loved her family. She enjoyed spending time with her loved ones, especially her grandchildren. Although some were separated by distance and she didn’t get to see them as often, it was easy to see that she adored each and every one of her grandchildren. It’s really no surprise that as a grandmother Bev was sweet, loving, and kind, and as she saw a need she just stepped in and filled it as generously as she could. If there was a way that she could help, Bev was there, even if it meant babysitting goldfish! She also traveled more after Dick’s death, often visiting relatives. Bev continued to serve others as she volunteered at Spectrum Health hospital in the gift shop and continued volunteering in her church.
In 2007, Bev was reintroduced to Don Ryan by his daughter-in-law who knew them both. His wife had also passed away several years earlier, and they made a great pair right from the start. At first they just met for dinners, but their relationship grew over time and they married in 2009. Bev and Don enjoyed traveling together, visiting each of their homelands including Sweden, Finland, and Ireland, which was one of Bev’s favorite trips. Whatever they did, they did it together. For years they regularly attended both of their churches, St. Luke's Lutheran Church and Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Their families enjoyed spending time with one another, and they appreciated their relationship. Both Bev and Don enjoyed having such a large family that included 114 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. As companions Bev and Don brought out a new life in one another, and together they celebrated everything that they had to be thankful for.
All who knew Beverly Ryan would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was bubbly and outgoing with a great sense of humor and a zest for life that was truly contagious. Bev was an amazing hostess who welcomed everyone in, and she loved and accepted everyone without condition. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Beverly L. Ryan (Sironen), age 86 of Grand Rapids, passed away November 22, 2016. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Richard Sironen. Beverly is survived by her husband, Donald; her children: Gary & Denise Sironen, Gordon & Jane Sironen, Gene and Heidi Sironen, Gail & Brian Mazurek, Paula Keena, Rich & Shawn Sironen; his children: Joseph & Ruthie Ryan, Christine Ryan & Douglas Aleski, Kathleen Ryan, P. Ann Ryan & Melinda Wilkins, Mary & Andy Way, Michael & Pamela Ryan, Thomas & Sylvia Ryan, Timothy & Erica Ryan, Maureen & Kevin Andrews, Margaret & Thomas Kosnik; 49 grandchildren and 65 great grandchildren; brothers-in-law Verlyn Jakolat and Ed (Marcie) Shusis; as well as many nieces and nephews. The service to remember and celebrate Beverly's life will be held Saturday, November 26 at 11:30 AM at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 3215 4 Mile Road NE. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Friday from 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW and on Saturday at church from 10:30 AM until the time of the service. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. For those who wish, memorial contributions to St. Lukes Lutheran Church are appreciated. To read more about Beverly's life, to share a memory or photo or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com