Richard "Foz" Ryan|
Richard "Foz" Frederick Ryan, 80, of O'Fallon, Ill., born Dec. 7, 1930, in East St. Louis, Ill., passed away Monday night, Oct. 10, 2011, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Belleville, Ill.
Foz grew up in St. Elizabeth's parish and graduated from Central Catholic High School, East. St. Louis, Ill., in 1948. He enlisted in the US Army during the Korean War. Following his discharge, he received his bachelor's degree in secondary education from SIU-E. He began his tenure in 1960 at Assumption High School, in East St. Louis, Ill., where he taught and coached for more than a decade. In 1974, he transferred to East St. Louis Senior High School where he taught driver's education until he retired in 1994. He remained active in coaching high school sports throughout his career: football, basketball, track and cross country, baseball, girls volleyball, and girls basketball. His teams won many competitions and he was well-regarded for his coaching ability.
Sports and athletic competitions were of great importance to Foz. He was a charter member of the O'Fallon Booster Club which began the city's first co-ed athletic programs for youth. He served on the O'Fallon Park Board from 1986 to 1988. He initiated the Columbus Day Kids Run in O'Fallon, the Mayfest Downhill Run, and the Knights of Columbus Turkey Trot to benefit Area 12 Special Olympics. Foz supported the Area 12 Special Olympics for more than 30 years, and served as a board member from 1985 to 1990. For the past three years, Area 12 Special Olympics has held a golf tournament in his honor.
Foz was also a civic leader and served on the St. Clair County Board. He was honored by the City of O'Fallon and St. Clair County as July 5, 2011 was declared "Foz Ryan Day" in honor of his service to the community.
Foz was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 4239 in which he served in the fourth degree and as a past grand knight. In the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Foz was the Illinois state president from 2005 to 2007 and was deemed the Hibernian of the Year.
As a loyal Hibernian, Foz spearheaded the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Belleville, Ill. An Irishman at heart, Foz traveled to Ireland five times to explore the beauty of the Emerald Isle and the home of his ancestors.
He was recognized numerous times over the years for his service; including 2003-04 Knight of the Year, O'Fallon K of C, 1997 Citizen Service Medal, O'Fallon Police Department, 1992 State Medallion winner, State of Illinois K of C, 1988 Knight of the Year, State of Illinois K of C, 1984 Award of Excellence, O'Fallon Chamber of Commerce, 1981 Knight of the Year, O'Fallon K of C, 1981 Man of the Year, O'Fallon Boosters and 1976 Man of the Year, Assumption High School Alumni.
Foz was a member of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in O'Fallon and participated in its seniors group, Yesterday's Kids. In 2001, Foz was awarded the Christian Service Award by the Belleville Diocese for his efforts in supporting children and young adults with economic disadvantages and/or disabilities.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Ann, nee Oppermann, Ryan, whom he married June 23, 1956, in Belleville, and who passed away Dec. 13, 2000; his father Richard F. Ryan; and his mother, Marie "Tucky," nee Ames, Ferrick.
Surviving are his three children, Theresa (Ron) Rasp of O'Fallon, Ill., Timothy (Michelle) Ryan of Shiloh, Ill., and Patrick (Karla) Ryan of O'Fallon, Ill.; grandchildren, Matthew and Clara Obernuefemann, Connor, Daniel, and Meghan Ryan, and Madelyn, Mackenzie, and Jonathan Ryan; and his half-sister, Sharon (Thomas) McGlasson of Fort Worth, Texas.
Memorials be made to
, Area 12 Special Olympics or St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Condolences may be extended to the family by visiting www.wfh-ofallon.com.
Visitation: Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, O'Fallon, Ill. The Ancient Order of Hibernians will conduct a service at 6 p.m. and The Knights of Columbus will conduct a Chalice Service at 7 p.m. Thursday at the church.
Friends may also call from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, at the church. Yesterday's Kids will conduct a walk-through at 10 a.m. Friday at the church.
Funeral: Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in O'Fallon, Ill., with Monsignor William Hitpas officiating. Burial will follow at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, Ill.
WOLFERSBERGER FUNERAL HOME, O'Fallon, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Oct. 12 to Oct. 13, 2011