John Ryski, 80, of Chaska, received his wings on Dec. 17.
John was born on July 6, 1941, to Pearl (Pagelkopf) and Tony Ryski. He was the second oldest of five children and grew up in Chaska.
John is survived by his wife Linda, sons Randy (Connie) and Mike (Renee); daughter Lynn (Steve Severson); grandchildren Steven, Dylan and Lyndsey Severson; Emilyn Ryski; and Andrew (Alyssa) and Adam Ryski; brother Steve, sister Joanne Malkovich; brother-in-law Stan Lester, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his son Scott, granddaughter Alexa, parents Pearl and Tony, sister Peg, brother Tony, and niece Amy.
He was a three-sport letterman who played cornet and baritone in the CHS band and was in two school plays.
After graduating from Chaska High School, he attended Augsburg College (now Augsburg University), where he played three sports and was captain of the football and baseball teams.
John married his high school sweetheart, Linda Lester, in 1960. They had four children: Randy, Mike, Scott and Lynn. John wore many hats at Eden Prairie High School: teacher, coach, athletic director, dean, bus driver, baseball diamond raker.
John was known as a very hard worker who was always willing to help anyone he could. He lived his faith in a quiet way by doing good wherever he was.
In retirement, he took on lawn mowing jobs, and his snowblower “wandered” up and down the street. Working out at the gym was his idea of fun! His goal was to “wear out, not rust out,” something he followed all his life.
He volunteered at church, was a church trustee, enjoyed dancing, and Maui was his favorite winter destination. John’s faith kept him strong through dark times and company during good times. He tried to demonstrate that faith through his actions, not necessarily through a lot of words!
In 1988 he was voted “Mr. Jamaica” and later was elected to three Halls of Fames: Chaska High School, Eden Prairie High School, and Augsburg University. Although he appreciated those awards, he tended to downplay them and was proudest of the achievements of his children, grandchildren and students.
There will be a celebration of John’s life (wear bright clothes!) on Saturday, Jan. 8, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 16515 Luther Way, Eden Prairie.
Visitation is from noon to 2 p.m. The service will begin at 2 p.m. Masks will be required at the church. There will be a time of refreshment and sharing (in Hawaii, that’s called “talking story”) following the service. There will be a link to streaming the service through Immanuel’s website.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family or donations to the ALS Foundation are appreciated and preferred.
Bertas Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Chaska is handling funeral arrangements. To sign the guestbook or send a sympathy card, click here.