Peter “Pete” Ryan

March 27, 2019

Peter Paul “Pete” Ryan, born December 6, 1942, departed this life on March 15, 2019 in Naperville, IL. at the age of 76. Peter was the son of Chester and Alice (nee Helma) Tobinski of Naperville, IL, the twin brother of Bonita “Bonnie” Ryan of Chicago, IL. and the the loving nephew of Pearl “Peggy” (nee Tobinski) Bartkowski of Lisle, IL, all preceding him in death. Surviving Peter are his beloved son MSG. Daniel (Sheena) Etherton of Senatobia, MS.; grandson Ryan (Alyssa) Etherton of Tomball, Tx.; granddaughter Courtney (Adam) Swonke of Montgomery, TX. and great-granddaughter Aubree Etherton of Tomball, TX. Peter is also survived by Carelin “CJ” Ryan and was the proud uncle of Beth and Charlie Janicek and also beloved longtime friends Marilyn and Sue.

Peter attended Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Elementary School in Naperville and continued on to St Procopius in Lisle for a year, and then transferred to Naperville Community High School, where he graduated in 1962. “Hutch” had been a cafeteria monitor at the school, and he spent many summers at the Naperville Centennial Beach.    He could often be found cruising, and drag racing, the area in his white ’64 GTO or in his Ram Charger. He was also proficient at canoeing and white water paddling on trips to the Ozarks and to Eagle River, WI.

Peter continually resided and worked in the Naperville, Aurora, Lisle, Lombard areas. He was a self-taught, self-made man and began to establish himself in the late 1960’s, when he began his first Lawn Mowing service.  His motivation led to the development of Ryan’s Lawn Care.  As he expanded his business, he hired on crews and acquired a fleet of mustard yellow trucks.  Early mornings, Peter and his men would often be found at Denny’s fueling up on breakfast and coffee before beginning their days. He always believed in tipping their waitresses well, as he empathized with how hard they worked.  While the Fox Valley Mall sprang up from the farm fields of Aurora in 1973, Peter, his crew, and his mustard yellow trucks would be seen laying out and planting the grounds of the rising Center. Over time Peter branched out, adding to his catalog of services, including snow plowing and removal, pond care and maintenance, fountains and water features, along with irrigation systems and services. During the winter months, along with the addition of the installation of Seasonal Holiday lighting and decorations, Peter was also known throughout the Naperville and Lisle area as Santa Claus, where he visited many households and company parties. He loved that role and happily anticipated it, gladly carrying it on for many years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 After he “retired”, Peter continued to work for many area businesses including; Award Winning Landscapes, Blake-Lamb Funeral Home, Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home; Chapel Hill West Cemetery; City of Naperville Building and Grounds Dept.; Gerharz-Cappetta Funeral Home; Green Grass Chopper; Expo Design Center; Home Depot in Bolingbrook; Naper Lawn Works; Naperville Polo Club; Phillip’s Flowers; Ruffled Feather’s Golf Course; Schmechtig Landscape Co; Stan’s Landscaping; Twin Oaks Landscaping and Wingren Landscaping. Most recently, Peter could be found delivering pizza for Cassanos’ Pizza in Naperville, as a bus driver and then as a monitor for special needs students Durham School Services/Septran Naperville, and as a staff member in Lombard for Chicagoland Pool Mgmt.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Peter had overcome a few childhood difficulties that helped shape the man he became. He learned at an early age to persevere, which led to his indomitable spirit. Peter will always be remembered as a tireless worker, his love of people and his compassion. He could not only feel peoples’ happiness, but he could also feel their sorrow. He was forever helping those in need, all he could and in many different ways. He had a love of the land he grew up around, the architecture of the old buildings, and a fascination with the never ending evolution of his expanding and changing community. He loved the outdoors, sunshine or lightning storms. He loved travel and adventure and  knew and remembered people everywhere he went, yet was at peace feeding the birds, watching a sunrise or a sunset. He was a gentle soul, yet one of great humor and wit. Peter will be truly missed by many

Memorial Services will be held  Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at West Suburban Funeral Home & Cremation Services 39 N.  Cass Ave, Westmont, IL. Graveside services and interment will follow at the East Columbarium at Naperville Cemetery 705 S Washington, Naperville, IL. Info 630-852-8000 or,