Eugene Ryan

Eugene ‘Gene’ Ryan, 96 years of age of Minden passed away on Friday, July 8, 2022 at Bethany Home in Minden. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 14, 2022 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Minden with the Rev. Evan Winter, Rev. Andrew Schwenka, and Rev. Christian Schwenka officiating. The service will be streamed to the funeral home’s Facebook page. Interment will be held following the service at the Holy Family Catholic Cemetery in Heartwell. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Minden with a Rosary service at 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Gene’s honor are kindly suggested to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Holy Family Catholic Church, or to Bethany Home. Arrangements are under the care of Craig Funeral Home in Minden. 

Eugene Thomas Ryan was born March 3, 1926 at Heartwell, NE to Leo and Dena (Pantenburg) Ryan. He grew up in the Heartwell area, attended country school (District 59) and graduated from Heartwell High School in the class of 1943. Gene farmed on the family farm and on October 16, 1948 married Rose Hoban at Holy Family Catholic Church in Heartwell. This union was blessed with two sons and three daughters. They made their home on the Ryan-Pantenburg family farm, east of Heartwell. Gene lived 70 years on this home place until moving to Minden after retiring in 1996. Gene and Rose raised various crops and livestock. He was a DeKalb seed dealer for 25 years. 

Gene was very active in his church and community. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Holy Family Catholic Church, Crosier Lay Apostolate, Past Grand Knight, Past Deputy Grand Knight and Past Treasurer of the Knights of Columbus Minden and Heartwell Council, a member of the Knights of Columbus Chalice Club and a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus Hastings Council. He served as a Trustee, a Lector, and was the first Acolyte at the Holy Family Catholic Church. Gene was a charter member of the Heartwell Lions Club and a member of the National Corn Growers Association. He served on the Kearney County Rural Fire District Board, Heartwell School Historical Society Board as treasurer, was a member of the Kearney County Historical Society and a 4-H Leader. 

Gene enjoyed dancing with Rose, playing cards in numerous card clubs, games with his grandchildren and following his children’s and grandchildren’s activities. 

He is survived by his sons and their spouses, Tom (Deb) Ryan of Lincoln, Terry (Connie) Ryan of Gibbon, daughters Karen (Kirk) Stubbendeck of East Amherst, NY, Mary Jo (Dean) Schwenka of Heartwell, and Julie (Matt) Hill of Lincoln; 13 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, sister Anabel Gallagher of Kenesaw, brother Michael Ryan and wife Cheryl of Minden, numerous nieces and nephews. 

He is preceded in death by wife Rose, his parents, grandson Jeremy Schwenka, grandson-in-law Matthew Brass, great grandchildren Mary Gabriel Brass and John Paul Faustina Brass, sister Rosemary Hoban, brothers-in-law James Hoban and Paul Gallagher. 

Tributes and memories can be shared with the family at www.craigfunerals. com.