Marilyn Ryan

March 21, 1936 ~ September 5, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old


Marilyn Ryan (nee Kennedy) passed away on September 5, 2023 at her home in Howard City, Michigan.  She was the oldest of nine, born to Robert Wallace Kennedy and Thelma Marie Kennedy (nee Chance) on March 21, 1936, in New Castle, Indiana.  She married attorney Thomas A. Ryan in 1955, and raised their family of six children in Grand Rapids, MI.

Marilyn was a woman of many talents.  In addition to lovingly rearing her kids, she worked as a licensed realtor, and volunteered for numerous school activities as well as the court system.  She tackled and mastered everything from home decorating to small engine repair.  An accomplished seamstress, she sewed her own wedding dress, and made countless other wedding & prom dresses, baby quilts & outfits for friends, neighbors, and family.  She had a beautiful alto voice and sang in the church choirs of Holy Spirit and St. Jude’s parishes (performing in Ireland with the latter).  

Marilyn loved traveling up north with her family, enjoying a summer cottage and many camping trips.  In the early years, the entire family of 8 (and all the pets) hauled a pop-up camper.  Marilyn was always the one to be counted on to expertly back-up the camper or maneuver a boat trailer.  In her later years she enjoyed get-aways to Florida with her husband Jim. 

Marilyn is survived by her husband Jim Sienko, sisters Teresa “Tess” Zella, Jeanne Parris and Kathleen (Tom) Comerford, brother Patrick (Phyllis) Kennedy, and her children Tom (Stevie) Ryan, Janyce Ryan (Joel), Jill (Robert) Murray, Stephen (Renae) Ryan, Timothy (Amy) Ryan, Douglas Ryan and stepdaughter Julie Moore, along with 11 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, Gus Zatti of Brazil (foreign exchange student who became family), and her dear cat Cookie. 

She is preceded in death by her first husband Thomas Ryan, her parents, and siblings Robert, Michael, Helen and John.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Magnify Church, Northview Campus, 4162 Hunsberger Ave N.E., Grand Rapids, MI  49525, at noon on Saturday, September 30, 2023.  

A second Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, for the Sienko family. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marilyn Ryan, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
September 30, 2023

12:00 PM
Magnify Church - Northview Campus
4162 Hunsberger Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
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