Ronald "Bill" Ryken
Ronald Ernest “Bill” Ryken of Irene, SD passed away on his farm near Irene on Friday, April 27, 2018.
Ronald Ernest Ryken was born on August 10, 1932 in Yankton, SD to Ernest and Mildred (Olafson) Ryken. Ever since he was a baby, his dad always called him Bill. He grew up below Chalkstone Hill and attended the Cement Plant Country School. While still in grade school, Bill hauled manure for a sheep farmer for 75 cents a day, then got a better job washing horses for $1 a day. As a teenager and young adult, he helped his dad farm, did carpentry work, drove truck, poured cement for curb and gutter in Mitchell, tended brick layers at Morgan Manufacturing, at Cimpls, and helped build Gavin’s Point Dam. Bill was a Corporal in the United States Army from 1955-1957, where he served one year at Fort Knox, Kentucky and one year in Kirchgoens, Germany.
On August 23, 1958 he married Sophia Binder in Tabor, SD and lived in Utica, SD. They would have celebrated 60 years of marriage this year. After getting married, Bill worked at Tramp Oil Station, drove the digger to put in BY water lines in Yankton, Mitchell, and Iowa. He worked at Stockmens, Yankton Livestock, Centerville Stockyards, drove truck for Ackerman Trucking, worked at the Fullerton Lumberyard in Irene, Irene CO-OP, and worked for Gerald Jensen Construction for many years.
Bill had many jobs in his lifetime, but his passion was raising animals. He always had a cow or calf for the grandkids, so they could name them and feed them. Bill loved spending time with his family and especially enjoyed it when the grandkids would stop by the farm to help with chores or take some vegetables out of his garden. His friends and family could always find him having coffee at Pump-N-Stuff or attending a cow sale.
Bill will be greatly missed by his wife Sophia Ryken of Irene, his four children all of Yankton: Bob (Jolyn) Ryken, Lori Ryken, Vicki (Todd) Knodel, Greg Ryken, his grandchildren Megan and Andrea Ryken of Yankton, Courtney Knodel of Sioux Falls, Brady Knodel of Yankton, Kylie (Colin) Oster of Sioux Falls, Katie Koletzky (Dylan Lau) of Farmington, MN, and his brothers Don (Sandy) Ryken of Irene, and Larry (Kathy) Ryken of Yankton.