SUSAN RYAN MOURNED BY HUNDREDS.
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.
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