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William "Mike" Ryan

Updated: 5 days ago


 William Michael "Mike" Ryan passed away peacefully on July 7, 2024, at the age of 81 in Des Moines, Iowa. Born on January 26, 1943, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to the late William and Zalas Ryan, Mike grew up in a nurturing environment that shaped his kind, gentle, and intelligent personality.


Mike attended Christ the King Catholic Primary School and De La Salle Catholic High School, which laid a strong foundation for his future. He furthered his education at St. Thomas College from 1961 to 1963 and completed his studies at the University of Minnesota in 1966, earning a BA degree in History.


Professionally, Mike dedicated his career to public service and economic development. He began as an administrative intern for the City of Richfield, MN, and his career took him to Chicago and later to Lorain, Ohio, as the Assistant Director of Community Development. In 1972, he moved to Moorhead, MN, to serve as the Director of Urban Renewal and later, in 1985, he joined the City of Des Moines as an Economic Development Coordinator, a position he held for over 15 years. After retiring from public service, Mike joined Keck Parking, where he worked until September 2023.


Outside of his professional life, Mike was an active member of the Windsor Heights Lions Club for a number of years, where he served as treasurer and was honored with the Warren Coleman Honorary Award in 2011 by the Iowa Lions Foundation. His hobbies included reading and playing card games, especially cribbage and bridge, which he enjoyed immensely.

Mike's gentle presence and commitment to service left a lasting impact on his community and all who knew him. He will be deeply missed.


Mike is survived by his son, Kevin Ryan; daughter, Jennifer Keenan (Michael); his best friend, Patsy Marckmann; grandchildren, Logan Keenan, Kenzie Keenan, and Michael Keenan (Megan); and great-grandsons, Kody Keenan and Maverick Keenan. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Zalas Ryan.


A visitation will be held on Friday, July 12th, from 9:30 to 11:30 AM at Merle Hay Funeral Home, 4400 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, with a Memorial Service immediately following. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association in memory of Mike.


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