Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 1, 2010
Mary Elizabeth Ryland, 83, of Scottsdale, Ariz. passed away March 23, 2010.
She was born Aug. 29, 1926 in Oakland, Minn. to George and Mayme (Lowry) Nelson. She graduated from Austin High School in 1943 as valedictorian. She graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. with a bachelor’s cum laude and taught high school in both Minnesota and New Jersey. In 1966, she became secretary-treasure for Ryland Ford, Inc., in Duluth, Minn. She served for 10 years with the Duluth School Board and in 1977 she was named Duluth Woman of the Year.
Mary was named a St. Olaf College Distinguished Alumna in 1978 and named 1984 Business Leader of the Year by the Duluth Chamber of Commerce and the UMD School of Business. She also served on the US Commission on Civil Rights. In 1991, she was appointed to the Judicial Selection Panel for District Judges. In 1993, she and her husband moved to Scottsdale, serving from 1999 to 2003 on the Scottsdale Judicial Appointments Advisory Board and most recently she held positions in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Association of University Women.
She was preceded in death by her parents; infant daughter, Patricia; and brother, George Nelson.
She is survived by her husband, Elwood Delbert Ryland of Scottsdale; sons, David G. Ryland of Ardmore, Okla. and Stephen G. Ryland of Rochester, Minn.; a brother, Russell Nelson of Albert Lea, Minn.; sisters, Fern Giffin of Austin, Grace Fauth of Lander, Wyo.; two grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Eleanor Nelson.
Services were held March 29, 2010 in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Interment was in the DeSmet Cemetery in South Dakota.
Contributions may be made to the Shepherd of the Hills Foundation Fund.
The Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.