Francis Alexander (F.A.) “Mike” Ryan passed away February 16, 2010, in St. Paul. Born in Austin on September 19, 1913, he was 96 when he died peacefully at home surrounded by his children. Mike lived a long and full life, and when he wasn’t working he was spending time with his family, staying at his lake cabin, or traveling. 


 

 


Francis Alexander (F.A.) “Mike” Ryan passed away February 16, 2010, in St. Paul. Born in Austin on September 19, 1913, he was 96 when he died peacefully at home surrounded by his children. Mike lived a long and full life, and when he wasn’t working he was spending time with his family, staying at his lake cabin, or traveling. 

All of his surviving children – Patrick, Catherine, Mary Ellen, Tim and Tom – were able to be with him on the day of his death.  

A funeral mass was held at  Saturday, February 20, at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in St. Paul. A graveside ceremony at Fort Snelling will be arranged at a later date. 

Mike was the son of Frank A. Ryan and Mary G. Coleman of Austin. He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Alice (Toody), his infant daughter Margaret, his son Michael Joseph, and his sister Mary Baumgart of Austin.

 After graduating from St. Augustine’s High in Austin, Mike worked for several years at the Hormel Co. He attended Marquette and transferred to the University of Minnesota where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Si fraternity. 

He was later employed by Swift and Company, but like many of his generation, Mike enlisted after Pearl Harbor. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a chief petty officer aboard the destroyer escort USS Lee Hardy, and was recalled to serve in the Korean War as well. Mike remained active in the USN for the next 32 years as a reserve member.

After WWII, he moved to Redwood Falls, where he (along with his aunt Louise Coleman), ran the Redwood Hotel and the Hotel Ramsey. 

He married Alice M. Lauterbach in 1947 and raised his family of six children from the late 40s until failing health forced him to relocate to St. Paul in 2000. 

Mike was an active member of the community, and in his lifetime there served as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and the downtown businessman’s group. Mike was also an active member of the American Legion and the VFW, spending many mornings serving on the honor guard for his brothers and sisters in arms as they were laid to rest. 

Mike was a longtime member of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. Over the course of his 50 plus years in Redwood Falls, he added the Cardinal Cafe to the Hotel Ramsey, operated Al’s Tap, relocated the Cardinal Cafe after the sale of the hotel to the First National Bank and ultimately purchased and ran the former Big Wheel fast food restaurant (located at the current location of Burger King). 

Having gratefully worked since the age of nine, Mike had no real hobbies other than sharing stories, kidding others and reading the paper, but he excelled at all. 

After residing in the St. Anthony Park Home for the last few years, he spent his final days surrounded by family in St. Paul. 

In his last hours, he was attended to by his children, his beloved dog, Cooper and his adored kitties. Through the Internet, his son Tim in Ohio was able to virtually be present just minutes before Mike departed on his ‘final cruise’.

In addition to his children, Mike is survived by grandchildren Erin (married to James Moore of Minneapolis), Meagan (married to Jamie Myer of North Dakota), Colin Ryan of Minot; Emma and Neil Ryan of Athens, Ohio; Morgan Fontana of Golden Valley and her daughters Alayna and Lilly; and Philip and Sam Ryan, also of Golden Valley. Mike was also overjoyed to meet and spend some time with his first great-grandson, Asher John Moore, of Minneapolis. Daddy-O was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.