Mike Ryan, beloved by family, admired by colleagues, laid to rest today
Mike Ryan and his wife Linda were obviously meant to be together. Photo: The Ryan Family
By the Ryan Family
Blue Line Taxi driver Mike Ryan (1964-2022) was a smart, hard-working entrepreneur, beloved by his family and friends and admired by professional colleagues.
“He was a glider pilot,” his daughter Jacqueline Ryan says proudly. “He actually met our mom Linda, at the Kawartha Soaring Club in Omemee in 1981. They loved each other so much, it’s obvious they were meant to be together.”
Jacqueline, 20, notes that Mike Ryan’s background as a glider pilot made him a particularly good driving teacher, as he taught both she and her twin brother Davis to drive only a few years ago.
“We were all together, the three of us in the car,” she recalls. “He had some very specific things he wanted to make sure we both learned: first, keep your distance from the car ahead of you.
“Second, assume that you are the best driver on the road, but try to imagine everyone else is even worse than you are – try to predict what the worst driver might do, and be prepared for it.
“Third, braking needs to be gauged by acceleration. It changes with the situation.”
The Ryan family and a lifetime’s worth of Mike Ryan’ friends are grieving his sudden loss in a senseless homicide which took place in downtown Oshawa on January 21st.
“Dad went to high school at Senator O’Connor in North York, and he had the same group of a half dozen friends since he was 14 years old. They remained close over all of the years; in fact, when we were kids growing up, we cottaged with them and their families many summers. We had so much fun together! My family really appreciates their support now.”
“My fondest memories with my dad were in elementary school, when I would come downstairs early in the morning just to lay down and rest with him a little longer before school,” Davis son recalls. “He would lay completely out on the couch, and my sister and I would sit behind his legs and be completely enclosed by the couch arm, cushions and him.
“We always played video games together, he made sure to have the latest systems for us, and himself at the end of the day. We loved playing with him.”
Says Linda, “My fondest memories with Michael were all the times he made me laugh throughout the years I knew him. We could talk together about absolutely anything – we never ran out of things to talk about.
“He could make me laugh until I cried with his jokes, he was effortlessly funny.
“Mike always tried to teach me to have a positive outlook in life; he was so kind to everyone. He was so good with the kids as babies, he was such a good father to our children. He worked closely with me in caring for them in every manner.”
Jacqueline is currently studying at Queen’s University while her brother Davis is at Durham College. Mike Ryan was proud and supportive of their career plans and goals.
“Dad was a true entrepreneur, he loved business,” Jacqueline says. “Over his lifetime he ran a construction business, a finance service, and later he was in the Taxi business. He was so good with people – a natural salesman.”
In fact, Blue Line Taxi, where Mike provided Accessible Taxi services, notes that in the five years he was with them, they never received a customer complaint. “Lots of compliments,” says Sarah O’Connor of Blue Line, “but there was not a single complaint in his file.”
Not surprisingly, Mike Ryan believed communications skills were of paramount importance to his kids in life, and he urged them to put effort into important conversations.
“Even if I had something to gripe about, he encouraged me to be clear about what I wanted, to make the communication worthwhile,” Jacqueline recalls. “He truly believed these things were important. He wanted us to work at it.”
She says she will always remember the time Mike took to teach her and her brother to drive as special times.
“He would always compliment us, when we did something well, on how smoothly we were driving,” she says. “He never missed a chance to encourage us.”
For detailed information on the Mike Ryan funeral events, please click here.
To donate to Mike’s family, please visit here