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Betty Vi Ryan (Brewer), age 92, of Pequot Lakes MN, died on Tuesday, November 17, due to complications from a stroke, one day short of her 93rd birthday.
Betty is preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Violet Brewer; sister, Sharon Hargrove; and husband, Kenneth Ryan. She is survived by children: Rebecca (Sam) Starks, Robert Ryan (John Quintana), Richard (Colleen) Ryan; niece, Sandy (Tim) Fernandez; grandchildren: Hilary Starks (Josh Mayo), Katheen Ryan (Colin Pearse), Sean Ryan (Edward Piechowski), Dane Ryan (Maggie Solnitzky), Emma (Steve) Webb; and great grandchildren, Whitney and Sammy Webb.
Born in 1927 to Ernest and Violet Brewer, Betty along with her younger sister, Sharon, enjoyed a charmed life revolving around the family farm implement dealership in downtown Kasson, MN. Upon high school graduation in 1944, Betty moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. After graduation she landed her first media job with the Rochester Post Bulletin working as a copy editor. While attending the U of M, the next chapter in her life started. Rooming with other girls above Bryan’s Tea House on 10th & University SE, a young man suddenly appeared on a ladder in their 2nd floor window. The handyman was there to swap out the screens for storm windows. His name was Ken Ryan, and Betty was smitten. Betty and Ken married on September 30, 1950 and built their lives in SE Minneapolis. Upon the birth of their daughter, Becky, in 1951, the young family moved to then rural, Arden Hills. There, on Glen Paul Ave, they raised their family, welcoming Rob in 1952 and Rick in 1955. Betty went on to work for Mounds View School District as a library clerk, while Ken managed the service station - Ryan’s Standard, at that same corner of 10th & University SE where they met. Upon retirement in 1984, Betty and Ken moved north to the family property on Pelican Lake in Crow Wing County. There Betty pursued her writing career once again, working with the Lake Country Echo in Pequot Lakes where she won three first place awards from the Minnesota Newspaper Association for her reporting. Journalism was truly her passion. She loved meeting people in the community and telling their stories. She attended Crosslake Lutheran Church. An active member of the choir, Betty served as Choir Director for a number of years. Betty retired from writing in 2008, as her eyesight began to fail due to macular degeneration. Her love of the north country never slipped though, and she loved spending time on the screened porch listening to the loons. Betty reluctantly moved to Northern Lakes Senior Center of Baxter in 2018, where in time, she made many new friends.
The family would like to thank the staff and nurses of Northern Lakes Senior Living, Essentia St. Joseph’s Medical Center, and Heartland Hospice Care for their amazing care and kindness.
Memorials may be sent to Crosslake Lutheran Church and Camp Knutson in Crosslake, MN.
A private family service will be held at a later date.
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