2006-02-11 / Obituaries

Ethel Ryba

Ethel M. Ryba Ethel M. Ryba Ethel M. Ryba, a Mackinac Island resident since 1960, passed away at the age of 99 Thursday, January 5, 2006 at her residence in Warren.

She was born in Detroit November 17, 1906, to Susan and Charles Du Russel and, following graduation from high school there, worked in an office.

She met her future husband, Harry Ryba, at a dance, and they waited four years before they could afford to get married.

The ceremony was April 25, 1930, and they were together nearly 66 years until Mr. Ryba died at the age of 88 on March 4, 1996.

Ethel and Harry Ryba operated a network of fudge shops, hotels, and bicycle rentals on Mackinac Island and she continued to spend summers on the Island until last year.

Mrs. Ryba kept the books for the growing businesses until she turned 65, at which point she told her husband that she would retire, said her daughter, Rena Callewaert.

“She was an incredible listener, it was one of her great gifts,” Mrs. Callewaert said, and so attentive was she to her children when they spoke, she added, “you just thought you were the Queen.”

Mrs. Ryba was also shy and private, “but very fashion conscious,” Mrs. Callewaert said, and she loved going for walks on the Island every night. Trillium Trail was her favorite. She enjoyed her own garden full of flowers and appreciated the wildflowers along the trails.

“She was happy,” her daughter said, “that she made it to her 100th year in life.”

Surviving are four daughters and their families, Patricia and Richard Grodecki of Chesterfield Township and Mackinac, Janis and Jules Deckert of Clinton Township, Rena and Victor Callewaert of Grosse Pointe and Mackinac, and Gail and the late Clarence Weaver of Warren; a son, Kevin of Ohio; 18 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

Another son, James, preceded her in death.

Services were held Monday, January 9, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Antyhanasius Catholic Church in Roseville.

Memorials may be made to the Mackinac Island Medical Center.

Burial was beside her husband at Resurrection Cemetery in Utica.

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