Cover photo for Kenneth B. Ryan Sr.'s Obituary
Kenneth B. Ryan Sr. Profile Photo

Kenneth B. Ryan Sr.

October 31, 1944 — May 16, 2024


Kenneth B. Ryan Sr.


Kenneth Ryan Sr. went home to be with our Lord and the love of his life, Mary Elaine Lico Ryan on Thursday, May 16, 2024, at the age of 79.


Kenneth, better known as “Big Ken”, was born on October 31, 1944, in San Antonio, Texas to B.C. and Kay Ryan. He graduated from Sinton High School in 1963 and went to work at O.R. Mitchell Chrysler as a line mechanic until he was drafted into the Army in 1965. He completed boot camp at Fort Polk in Louisiana, then was stationed in Juno, Alaska until such time that he was sent to Vietnam. Ken was attached to the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division as a helicopter mechanic but spent the bulk of his time as a door gunner in a Bell UH-1 Iroquois ("Huey") helicopter. Upon his return from serving his country Ken began working as a line mechanic at Superior Pontiac in San Antonio, Texas. Ken worked as a mechanic until the early 1980s when he began a very successful career in sales. He was personable, customer service oriented, and driven. His customers were loyal to him and would call him first before anyone else. He retired in 2009 from Contractor’s Building Supply.


Ken didn’t just love cars; he was passionate about hot rods and drag racing. His father B.C. Ryan was a Texas dirt track champion in the late 1940s. So, from a very early age he was encouraged to build, drive, and race anything he could get his hands on. He was a staple at Alamo Dragway, Little River Dragway and other Texas tracks in the late 70s and early 80s with his 1923 Ford Roadster. His love of cars was passed down to his son as well as both of his grandsons when they began competing in Jr. Dragsters in 2009. At the time of Ken’s death, he owned 3 street rods; a 1940 Ford Coupe, a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Coupe, and a 1950 Ford “Shoebox” Coupe.


Ken married the love of his life, Mary Elaine Lico Ryan, on July 25, 1968. They loved to get in their motorhome and travel the country with their friends exploring new cities, sites, and national treasures.


Preceding him in death was his wife, Mary Elaine Lico Ryan; sister, Nancy Ryan Fichter; parents, B.C. and Kay Ryan; in addition, were beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. 


Ken is survived by his son, Ken Ryan II and daughter-in-law, Yvette Ryan; grandsons, Dustin Paul Ryan and Jordan James Smith, (and great-grandson Johnathan); granddaughters, Brittany Smith Seibert (and husband Luke Seibert, and great-granddaughter Emmy Jo),  and Bayli Smith; sister, Sue Ryan Tiller (and husband George Tiller); nephews, Tim Arden, Thomas Fichter, Joel Jones, Dennis Jones (and wife Trudy Jones), James Lico (and wife, Kristen, and children, Ethan and Shelby), John Paul Lico (and wife, Kathryn, and children, Makayla, Connor, and Oliver); and several beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins; and family in Italy.


A graveside service will be held at 10am on Friday, June 7, 2024, at Sunset Memorial Park. Located at 1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, Texas. The family is requesting that if you are planning to attend the service and you have a hot rod to please drive it in honor of Ken.


In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to any organization that supports our Nation’s Veterans. 


Services with integrity, pride, and honor are under the direction of Kerrville Funeral Home. (830) 895-5111

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

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, June 7, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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