Celebration of Life planned June 10 for Verona Ryan, 1932-2023

Family and friends will gather June 10th to remember Verona Ryan, and are sharing this remembrance with her community:

On this past beautiful Easter morning, our family took pause to think of our mother who had also recently risen, passing in her sleep on March 29th at the age of 90. She was the most remarkable combination of brains, compassion, and pragmatic problem-solving; at once artistic, analytical, graceful, humble, and beautiful, she embodied so many of the virtues we find ourselves still pursuing today.

Born July 6, 1932 in tiny Steinauer, Nebraska, as the fifth of six children to the Rev. Ernest and Ana Tischhauser, both Swiss immigrants, she was soon swept up with her siblings to a small town outside Austin, Texas where her father had been named pastor of a bilingual protestant church. Verona exhibited her brains early on by skipping two grades in elementary school, before moving at age 12 to Tacoma, WA where she graduated from Lincoln High School, met and married her high school sweetheart, Bill Morgan, and continued her study of music at Puget Sound College. They moved to West Seattle in 1956.

For the last 67 years Verona has been a pillar of strength and influence at Alki United Church of Christ. If there was ever glue that held a place together, she was it. She served multiple times as Chair or Business Manager of the Church’s Board of Directors, was influential in the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UCC, decorated every service with beautiful altar floral arrangements, offered her glorious soprano voice as choir soloist, and became church organist and keyboardist for 26 years of services, weddings, and memorials. In the background, Verona was also the part of three pastor selections, a leader of Women’s Fellowship, a key organizer of special events, and the creator of several major pieces of stained-glass art found around the church and in the homes of other parishioners. There were no bounds to her energy or commitment.

Through it all, she always remained open, approachable, patient, kind, humble. Verona was a calm but powerful force.

We are tremendously saddened by the loss of her guiding presence in our lives. Her cheerful demeanor and peaceful approach were always a blessing, always comforting; she was an island of calm in a world often too busy to slow down. She was also ready for the end. It was a frustrating disappointment to her, because the change to dependence came so rapidly and she so did not want to be a burden on anyone. Yet, she was also so appreciative of those who visited, and of those who cared for her. She would always remark how much she enjoyed our time together. Then she would make a point of saying, “But you better not feel guilty about not being able to be here.” To which we would laugh and say, “But mom, we always will. It’s part of loving you.”

Right up to the end she had a great sense of humor. Self-effacing, humble; frustrated, but recognizing this is often how the end plays out. Her sense of self-awareness never left. For us, it’s always so hard to see a great life end this way. For that, we are sad. But in heaven, we are sure she’ll get the best seat available – right in the front row.

Verona is survived by her daughter, Morgan Brig, sons Tim & Mark Morgan, step-daughter Beverly Taylor, and brother Eric Tischhauser.

A Celebration of Life will be held June 10, 1 pm, at Alki United Church of Christ, 6115 SW Hinds, Seattle. In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances or donations to Alki United Church of Christ or the West Seattle Food Bank.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

2 Replies to "Celebration of Life planned June 10 for Verona Ryan, 1932-2023"

  • Michelle May 19, 2023 (10:39 am)

    An amazing woman with a spirit of faith and love. She will be deeply missed by her Aegis family. Love you all so much and we send you are deepest condolences. Love, Michelle 

  • Steph May 20, 2023 (10:07 am)

    What a lovely tribute to a life well lived.I’m sorry for your loss and glad you enjoyed being with such a caring beautiful person for so long.It sounds like she touched a lot of lives in meaningful ways.That should be an inspiration to us all.

Sorry, comment time is over.