Robert Ryan

Ryan, Robert John Robert J. Ryan, age 86, of Lake Forest, Illinois, died March 20. Born in Chicago to Charles and Josephine Ryan, he is preceded in death by three brothers and five sisters. He counted his life lucky due to being the seventh son of a seventh son born on May 7. Enlisting at the age of 17, he served In the United States Marine Corps from April 1944 to August 1946 in the Pacific Theater. In 1947, Bob married Olive Tafel and fathered two daughters, Molly and Ruth. Back in civilian life, he resumed working in the machinery moving business, ultimately rising from rigger to president and owner of Taft Contracting Company. Professional honors included nine years as president of the Chicago Machinery Movers Association and election to the International Heavy Specialized Carriers Conference Hall of Fame. Always an ardent outdoorsman, Bob enjoyed lake living and sports. After retirement, he built or rebuilt many lake homes in Wisconsin. Due to his wife's illness, they moved back to Illinois, and after 56 years of marriage. Olive died in 2003. Embarking on a new phase of his life, he met and married Barbara McClure Nelson. Together they traveled the world and established homes in Florida, Door County, and Lincolnshire. He will be sorely missed by his widow; daughters, Molly Ryan (George Gandara), and Ruth (Michael) Dill. Other survivors include grandson, Adam Makda; granddaughters, Jennifer and Katharine Dill, Mairghread Dill (Michael) Wycklendt; great-grandsons, William and Matthew Wycklendt; and step-daughter and step-son, Ellen (Jeff) Adler and Andrew (Lynne) Kline, along with numerous nephews and nieces and his sole surviving sibling, Donald (Patricia) Ryan. A memorial service will be held at Lake Forest Place, 1100 Pembridge Drive, Lake Forest on April 20, 2013 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers donations to a cancer charity of personal choice would be appreciated. Arrangements by Cremation Society of Illinois 847-577-6505.

Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Apr. 7, 2013