About Susan A. Ryan
Staff Reporter TORONTO STAR
Susan Ryan loved yellow roses.
And so, dozens of the 500 mourners who attended her funeral in Mississauga today each carried a single yellow rose, the flower that symbolizes friendship and happiness.
Many placed them in huge vases flanking her casket inside the Cooksville United Church.
The outpouring of emotion over Ryan's death was a reflection of the way she touched so many people, Rev. Richard Miller told the overflow crowd.
He urged them not to give in to hatred and anger over how she died, but to carry on the good works she began in life.
The 57-year-old real estate broker was shot dead in her home on Nov. 9. Her husband, Larry, a recently retired Toronto police officer, is charged with second-degree murder. It was Peel's 25th homicide this year, a grim record.
Long-time Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, a friend of Ryan for more than a decade, said her eulogy was the "toughest" she'd ever had to deliver.
McCallion called the popular realtor a "special and beautiful human being."
"If Sue's life were a book, it would be an instruction manual on how to live life to the fullest," McCallion said. "But unfortunately, she left us before completing the remaining chapters.
"While Sue leaves behind a loving family and so many friends, the truth is she leaves behind the entire community of Mississauga. Let us not focus on how she died, but more importantly, how she lived."
The mayor said Ryan was an "ideal citizen," who not only succeeded in personal pursuits, but was involved in the success of the community and motivated others to do the same. She said Ryan was an advocate for local social causes and a tireless fundraiser for Victim Services of Peel and the Interim Place shelter for abused women and their children.
"She had a huge capacity for joy" and always believed in giving "a hug a day," McCallion recalled.
"Her legacy will be her outstanding community service and the love she had for family, friends and those who knew her," she said.
"We need more Sue Ryans in every community in Canada."
Among the mourners were Larry Ryan's sister and 12 brothers, who each placed a yellow rose near his wife's casket at the front of the church.
Some of them had attended Ryan's court appearance earlier today, watching as their unshaven and dishevelled brother was led into a Brampton courtroom, where he rested his head on shackled hands in the prisoner's dock.
Looking tired and haggard, Ryan, 58, wore the same grey hooded sweatshirt he was arrested in the morning his wife was slain, the day he had told friends he had planned to go deer hunting.
Defence lawyer James Burke said Ryan was upset that he wasn't allowed to attend his wife's funeral.
"He wanted me to get a judge's order to try to get him there and it's impossible," Burke said outside court. "He's very upset."
Burke said he would determine Ryan's legal strategy in the coming weeks.
"We just adjourned the matter (for) three weeks in order to stabilize the situation and determine the next step we're going to take, whether it's bail or whatever other avenues are available to us," he said. "Bail obviously would be our first choice.
"It's obviously an extremely difficult situation. He's being medicated and we'll have to deal with that once we've had reports from the doctors."
Burke said he didn't know the condition for which Ryan was being treated.
Ryan was remanded in custody until a video appearance in Brampton court on Dec. 8.
By TAMARA CHERRY, Sun Media
Just hours ahead of his wife's funeral, a recently retired Toronto Police officer appeared in a Brampton courtroom this morning, charged with second-degree murder.
Larry Ryan, 58, who retired this summer after three decades as a Toronto cop, appeared unshaven, wearing a grey hoodie, with his shackled hands clasped before him during his brief appearance.
He was charged last week with the slaying of his wife, Susan Ryan, a 57-year-old high profile real-estate broker who was found dead in the couple's Mississauga home.
Larry Ryan wiped his eyes and rested his head in his hands on the glass of the prisoner's box today as he was remanded into custody until Dec. 8, when he will appear via video.
A handful of his siblings were in the audience of the courtroom as a show of support.
"We just adjourned the matter three weeks in order to stabilize the situation and determine the next step we're going to take, whether it's bail or whatever other avenues are available to us," defense lawyer James Burke said outside the courthouse. "Bail obviously would be our first choice. We should have some disclosure by that time and be able to assess our case realistically as to what exactly we're dealing with."
"It's obviously an extremely difficult situation. He (Ryan) is being medicated and we'll have to deal with that once we've had reports from the doctors," Burke said, adding he doesn't know what his client is being medicated for.
Ryan was "absolutely" upset he couldn't attend his wife's funeral, scheduled for this afternoon, Burke said. "He wanted me to get a judge's order to try to get him there and it's impossible. He's very upset."
The Ryans, who were friends with Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, moved into their home on Carigar Court about 27 years ago -- three years after they were married, friends told the Toronto Sun. They had two dogs, which they were often seen walking in their Burnhamthorpe and Cawthra Rds. neighbourhood.
Before his wife was killed, the retired officer told friends he was planning to go deer hunting over the weekend.
Investigators have not disclosed what killed Susan Ryan, who was president of the Mississauga Real Estate Board in 2006.
Hers was the 25th homicide of the year for Peel police.
By: The Mississauga News
Her funeral will be held at 1 p.m. at Cooksville United Church, 2500 Mimosa Row. A private burial will follow.
Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Turner & Porter Peel Chapel, 2180 Hurontario St. Donations may be made to Victim Services of Peel or Interim Place. Those making the arrangements for Ryan have asked that in memory of Sue, a single yellow rose would be appreciated.
Ryan was a tireless volunteer and philanthropist in the city. She was past president of the Mississauga Real Estate Board, having worked in the business for 30 years.
Her husband, a retired Toronto Police officer, has been charged with second degree murder.
Larry Ryan has been remanded in custody, while homicide investigators continue their investigation.
Ryan was married for 35 years.
She is survived by sister Lynda McAuley, brothers Peter and Stephen Elkerton, mother Elizabeth Elkerton and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Ryan was predeceased by brother William Elkerton and father Dr. Lionel Elkerton.
Mississauga - Peel police said they are not going to immediately release the autopsy results in the murder of a Mississauga real estate agent.
Investigators said they don't want to compromise the case against Susan Ryan's husband, a former Toronto police officer, who is charged with second-degree murder.
Police said they want to keep the investigation as clean as possible, and not taint a jury pool prior to a trial.
Investigators said the fact that the murdered woman's husband was a former officer has no bearing on the decision to withhold the autopsy results.
Dale Anne Freed
Staff Reporters TORONTO STAR
A prominent Mississauga realtor who was slain on the weekend was a "personal champion" of women who had suffered violence at the hands of their spouses, says a shelter's executive director.
Susan Ryan, 57, spent much of her free time raising funds for causes including Peel Region's victim's services program and the Interim Place shelter, Cindy Cowan said yesterday. Ryan's efforts with Mississauga's real estate board helped raise more than $20,000 for the shelter, she said.
"She was a remarkably warm, kind and giving woman," said Cowan. "Her presence was huge in the region of Peel."
Ryan was found dead in her Carigar Court home after a 911 call Sunday morning. She was president of the real estate board in 2006 and a volunteer for many causes, something that prompted her friend Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion to call her death a major blow to the city.
Ryan's husband Lawrence Kenneth Ryan, 58, known as Larry and who recently retired after three decades as a Toronto police officer, is charged with second-degree murder.
The victim's brother, Steve Elkerton, a 59-year-old teacher in London, Ont., noted his sister's work for victims of violence and the circumstances of her death.
"That's why it's so ironic," he said in an interview.
Elkerton said he last saw his sister in July at his mother's 90th birthday in White Rock, B.C. "We had a splendid time. I probably had the best time with the both of them (Ryan and her husband) that I have ever had," said Elkerton. "They seemed happy."
He described his younger sister as "a Type A" overachiever, always trying to better herself, "listening to motivational tapes."
The current real estate board president, Lynne Kent, said Ryan "was an amazing lady who did so much for this city."
"Every single second of her life was spent taking care of other people. That's a rare breed."
Larry Ryan made two brief appearances in Brampton court yesterday. In an early morning hearing before a justice of the peace, he was formally charged.
Later, he said nothing as he was remanded in custody until a hearing next Monday. A justice of the peace imposed a publication ban on details of the case.
An autopsy is planned today.
Larry had an unremarkable career with the Toronto police, sources said yesterday, and his last post was at the 22 Division front desk.
Those who knew the couple refused to comment on any marital discord.
They have confirmed Larry owned guns and was an avid hunter.
Sources and friends of the couple confirmed Ryan and his wife were in the process of selling a home, other than their principal Mississauga residence, and that the transaction was due to be completed any day now.
Susan's friends have left tributes on her Facebook site, with one noting the couple seemed to be "enjoying life" around Thanksgiving, except for "disturbing seizures" Larry had recently experienced.He was to have surgery for a cancerous tumour on his gallbladder, friends told the Star earlier.
According to her Facebook page, She ran her own company. Employer: Susan A. Ryan Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage/S.A.R. Group Relocation Inc. Position: Broker of Record/President Mississauga, ON Description: Residential Real Estate and Corporate Employee Relocation Transfer Care.
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Visited Nov 10, 2008