Obituaries

Wesley Harold Ryd

January 30, 1930 - September 21, 2020

Wesley Harold Ryd, M.D. was welcomed into Heaven by his Savior on September 21, 2020.  He was 90 years young, and his life exemplified what it means to love God and to love people.  Wes was born in Chicago, IL, on January 30, 1930, to Axel and Emelia Ryd, the middle child (siblings Al and Don), and he put his trust in Christ Jesus as his Savior early in life, which became the focus of his life.  Wes married a high school friend, Lois Erickson Ryd, on June 20, 1952, with whom he enjoyed 67 years of devoted marriage until her death in 2019.  Together they wholeheartedly loved their children, Linda (Dave) Wager, Steve (Joani) Ryd, and Karen (Mark) Peterson, grandchildren, Krista (Lance) Brackin, Sara Wager, Matt Ryd, Meg (Jon) Huffman, Andrew Peterson, and Adam Peterson, and great grandchildren, Bella and Tucker Brackin, and Ezekiel Huffman.  Wes attended North Park College (1948-1950), Wheaton College (1950-1952), University of Illinois Medical School (1952-1956), interned in Decatur, IL (1956-1957), and served as a military doctor in the United States Air Force at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1957-1959).  Upon returning to Chicago in 1959, he began to serve families as a General and Family Practitioner, and continued to do so both in Chicago, and then in Oak Lawn, IL, for 40 years.  He loved his patients dearly and considered treating multiple generations a privilege.  He felt he didn’t “work” a day in his life, because he loved what God had given him to do. Wes loved to travel, visiting all 50 states, all 7 continents, and 45 countries.  His enthusiasm for God’s creation was evident and he loved encouraging other family members and friends to join him on outdoor adventures and travel, whether it be climbing mountains (Grand Teton, WY, age 50, and Longs Peak, CO, age 69), hiking the Grand Canyon, downhill skiing in numerous states and countries, rafting the Colorado and Salmon Rivers, backpacking the Appalachian Trail, ziplining  at age 81, biking the Fox River Trail, the Wisconsin backroads, or the Apple Cider Century bike ride, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, fishing, canoeing, jogging or playing tennis.  He could often be heard to exclaim, “Thank You, God!” as he reveled in the magnificence of God’s handiwork. Wes’ life passion was to share the love of Jesus, and his retirement from medical practice in 1999 opened up many other avenues to continue serving and celebrating life all over the world.  He ministered in many ways in his retirement community at The Holmstad in Batavia, on committees, at the facility store, and for 10 years at Tri City Health Partnership.  He participated in more than 20 medical mission trips to countries such as Uganda, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic and, most often, to Ecuador, where he found great fulfillment in providing medical services while spreading the love of Jesus.  He and Lois volunteered at Silver Birch Ranch (White Lake, WI) during the summer for over 15 years where he served as a wrangler, outdoor breakfast cook, medical consultant, woodshop instructor, tree logger, and driver for hay rides, raft trips, and water tubing.  Through all of those activities, “Doc” developed mentoring relationships with staff and campers, and he was an example and inspiration to all.  “Doc” was quiet, gentle, generous, witty with a contagious, hearty laugh, a friend, an encourager, thoughtful, compassionate, patient, faithful, selfless, and adventurous.  But most of all, he was a servant---a servant of God and a servant of people.  His life epitomized the message of 1 Corinthians 15:58 - “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  A private interment ceremony with military honors will be held at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.   Due to Covid-19 restrictions, no memorial service is planned at this time.  Memorial gifts can be sent to Silver Birch Ranch, N6120 Sawyer Lake Road, White Lake, WI 54491, or made online at silverbirchranch.org. 

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