Cover photo for Martha Jean Ryan's Obituary
Martha Jean Ryan Profile Photo
1936 Martha 2019

Martha Jean Ryan

November 5, 1936 — November 26, 2019

Celebration of Life for Martha Ryan, age 83 of Albert Lea, will be held on Monday, December 2 at 10:00 AM at Grace Lutheran Church (918 Garfield Ave, Albert Lea). Pastor Jennifer Gonsalves will officiate. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Monday. Online condolences are welcome at

Martha Jean Ryan passed away safely and peacefully into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 surrounded by her loving family.

Martha was born on November 5, 1936 to George and Winnie (Davis) Clearwater in Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1955 and worked at the Equitable Insurance Company in downtown Des Moines as a secretary in the Medical Records Department before her marriage to Luverne Ryan on November 4, 1956 at the little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa and then moved to Albert Lea, Minnesota.

Martha and Lu created a wonderful, loving family. She was a devoted mother to her three children; Michael, Daniel and Suzanne. In later years she worked at the Albert Lea Childrens’ Center until her retirement.

Throughout Martha’s life she enjoyed using her God-given gifts and talents in many ways. In High School she was a valued member of the Concert Choir and a favored student helper to her Home Economics teacher, often being asked to assist other students with their sewing projects. She was very active in her home church, First Federated in Des Moines. She sang in the choir, taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and participated in numerous Christian Youth activities including Youth for Christ and singing in the choir for a Billy Graham event. In addition to singing, Martha enjoyed many talents. As a young child, she took private dance and piano lessons. On several occasions she sang and danced to entertain veterans’ groups during WWII. One of her songs was “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me.” Her darling costumes were made by her loving mother. Martha was an outstanding hostess and homemaker. Her home was warm and welcoming as well as beautifully decorated, due to her creative and amazing attention to detail and excellent taste.

Martha was a dedicated Prayer Warrior. Her love for her Savior was put into action in many ways, prayer being extremely important. If someone needed prayer, call Martha. She prayed, she remembered and she kept in contact with those on her growing prayer list.

Martha was gentle, kind, inspiring, encouraging, and faithful; a hero, protector, teacher, great example, mother, grandmother, “grammie”, sister, and best friend; and so very loved by her family.

Martha is survived by her loving family; sons Mike (Debby) and Dan, daughter Sue (Steve) Andersen; grandchildren Nikki (Brandon) Prihoda, Tony, Brittany (Justin) Lorenz, Christian Andersen, Gracelyn Andersen; great-grandchildren Madison Prihoda, Emma Prihoda, Josie Lorenz; sister Mary Clearwater; many nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and former co-workers.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister Georgeanne and husband Lu.

Martha’s family would like to express their thanks and heartfelt gratitude to the doctors and nurses at Mayo Clinic, St. Mary’s Hospital, and the staff at Good Samaritan Society Hidden Creek for their kind, loving and excellent care given to Martha during these past several months.

May God richly bless you as you remember Martha’s remarkable and truly blessed life. Her life verse was Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusts in Thee.” Martha trusted Jesus.

Memorials preferred to the Ronald McDonald House.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha Jean Ryan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, December 2, 2019

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, December 2, 2019

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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