Banker, philanthropist and Edgewater fixture Mary Katherine Ryan dies at 83


Correction; an earlier version of this obituary stated that Mary Catherine Ryan worked for US Bank. She worked at Bank of America.

Mary Katherine Ryan managed her family’s trusts and funds in Chicago for nearly 50 years, developing a knack for aligning philanthropists and causes.

When the Children’s Memorial Hospital needed funding for a new computer system, Mrs. Ryan found a client who made a lot of money at the cash register and thought the two machines were similar. When Mrs. Ryan got involved with the Medical Research Foundation, she attended classes learning medical terminology.

“I don’t think there’s a charity in Chicago that she’s not involved with in some way,” said former colleague Charles Slammer.

Charming, methodical, generous and welcoming, Mrs Ryan, known to her friends and family as “Cassie”, died in Edgewater on January 10th. She was 83 years old.

“Kathy Ryan didn’t live her life looking for recognition,” said Kelly’s son, Alan Ryan IV. wrote in his condolences. “She lived by her example.”

Mrs. Ryan was born Mary Katherine Crowley in Oak Park in 1939 and moved with her family to Wilmette as a child. She attended Dominican College in Forrest and later became a trustee. She then attended DePaul University’s Law School.

Mrs. Ryan married childhood friend Alan C. Ryan III in 1968 after a “long and gracious courtship.” Alan Ryan said he knew she was the one because she was kind.

“She was very well respected,” said Alan Ryan. “She was such a nice person. … Oh my god, she was beautiful.

Mrs Ryan lived in Edgewater for 48 years. She died in the same apartment where she raised her three children with her husband. For a while her sister lived across the street and her parents lived next door.

“She’s very smart,” said daughter CC Ryan Duffy. “She was very petite, but in a way she was commanding.”

Mrs. Ryan was modest and never boastful, but she was not docile. Mrs. Ryan said she was one of the first female executives to be promoted at Bank of America at a time when being a working mother was considered controversial.

During his 47-year career at Bank of America, Mr. Ryan started his career in the probate department and has grown rapidly in the private property and trust administration division.

In the wealth management industry, her reputation as a woman managing millions of dollars was ahead of her, said her former colleague Slammer.

“She worked harder than anyone and had no tolerance for shortcuts, underpreparedness, what she called ‘fakes,'” Kelly Ryan said in his book. Compliments.

Mrs. Ryan retired in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Wealth Management for the Charities Division and has worked with approximately 125 families. A philanthropist and patron of the arts, she has served on the boards or boards of nearly twenty organizations and has been an advocate for Catholic higher education and women’s higher education.

According to Kelly Ryan, Mrs. Ryan was surrounded by people who shared her passion and attention to detail. At Dominica, Bank of America and other organizations, she brought her young executives under her umbrella, developing her close friendships along the way.

“She knew everyone and people looked to her for advice and influence,” said Donna Carroll, former president of the Dominican Republic. ”

Many remember Mrs. Ryan as a sophisticated dresser and an impeccable taste in suits. bottom.

Mrs. Ryan loved shopping, dining with friends and visiting St. Ita Catholic Church in Edgewater. She performed frequently with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Joffrey Ballet. Every summer she looked forward to the classical music festival in Grant Park. She loved her home on the beach in Delray, Florida, and had her sister right next to her.

And she loved her seven grandchildren very much. “She was really excited to be her grandmother at that stage in her life,” said Duffy.

She is generous and kind, making everyone feel welcome around her, from spouses of children to strangers passing by.

“To meet so many people at the wake and funeral who have all these different stories about how Kathy impacted their lives and careers in such a special way was really special and impactful. There was power,” said Duffy.

In addition to my husband, son, and daughter, I have another son, Brian, and seven grandchildren.

Commemorative contributions can be made to the Mabel and Joseph Crowley Scholarship Fund at Dominican University.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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