Mike Ryan grew up in Grantsburg, WI. He was the second oldest of seven children with one older sister and five younger brothers. He was raised on a country farm and was in Cub Scouts, 4-H, and played football, baseball, basketball, ran track, pole vaulted and wrestled in high school. He was also a hunter and a trapper.
He joined the Air Force in 1974, received training in industrial engineering, real property management, cost accounting and budget analysis at San Antonio, TX. He was assigned to Lowry AFB in Denver before being stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, AK from 1976-1978. He worked as a budget planner for Base Civil Engineer. While in the service in Anchorage, he also managed a pizza parlor on base and worked as an assistant sales manager in a local furniture store.
After leaving the Air Force he became the co-owner and operating general manager of a furniture group. After experiencing the plunge of oil prices and the collapse of the Anchorage economy, he worked as an account executive for the local NBC television station until transitioning into the automobile business as the sales manager for a Lincoln Mercury dealership. For over thirty years he has been in the car business as salesman, customer relations director, sales manager, fleet sales manager, and general manager. He is currently employed as the Commercial Sales Manager at Brien Ford in Everett. For the past four years he has served on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Ford Truck Association; holding the office of Treasurer and currently the office of President.
He and his wife, Marilee, met in Anchorage in 1986. They have been married twenty-seven years this coming June. Together they have four children and eight grandchildren. While in Anchorage, Mike and Marilee were members of Zion Lutheran Church, LCMS. He served as an Elder, Chairman of the Elders Board and Congregational President. Over the years he also chaired the Board of Education and the Board of Evangelism, led adult Bible studies and instructed confirmation students. He oversaw the operation of Zion Lutheran’s Pre-School, was a member of the Board of Directors at Anchor Lutheran School and a member of the Board of Alaska Mission for Christ. He has been an active supporter of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League events, assisting with worship and sacraments at retreats and conventions, and participating in skits.
In 2002 and 2004 Mike campaigned as an East Anchorage candidate for the Alaska State House of Representatives.
Under Pastor Ken Schauer, circuit rider pastor for Alaska Mission for Christ, he received Lay Ministry training and service assignments, qualifying him to serve as a deacon under pastoral direction. Mike conducted Sunday services and Word and sacrament ministry in rural areas in Alaska as well as in his home congregation.
Last year Mike interviewed with the LCMS Northwest District to complete the final step to be certified by the NW District LCMS as a licensed deacon. After the completion of a Deacon Purpose and Ministry Description for Grace Lutheran Church the voters’ assembly of Grace approved the position of deacon in May 2014 and Mike was selected to fill the office. In July the NW District LCMS approved Mike as licensed deacon for Word and Sacrament Ministry.
September 13, 2014 Pastor Schultz placed the deacon stole on Mike and commissioned him as a deacon at Grace Lutheran Church.
In January the NW District LCMS Office of the President renewed his license to serve in Word and Sacrament Ministry for 2015 as a deacon at Grace.
Grace Lutheran Church -Everett