A TRIBUTE TO MY FATHER - By Mike O’Ryan

I would love to share my father's story with you since I was unable to do so last Sunday. My father, Edward Charles O'Ryan, was born August 8, 1928, in Dayton, Ohio. He and my mother, Jane, raised 5 children. Dad was a semi-professional wrestler in the days of Bobo Brazil, The Sheik, Nature Boy Rogers, Lou Klein, etc., most of whom I met at Hara Arena. Dad was the hardest working man I've ever seen. He always worked two jobs to supplement my mother's one job to provide the bare necessities for our family. He taught me how to keep old cars running, old homes safe, to defend myself and others, and the value of working hard. We were not raised in church. Dad drank, sometimes too much, smoked cigars, chewed tobacco, and was not afraid to "mix it up" if needed. Right or wrong, I learned from what I saw and experienced. I gave my heart to Christ in December of 1971, because of the influence of Ruth Wrenn and her daughter, Kris.

Thanks to the Wrenn family and the power of new beginnings, the change in my life was so evident that my parents were compelled to investigate. Therefore, in the summer of 1972, I was blessed with a new Daddy by the power of God's saving grace. My father experienced a rebirth that was an undeniable encounter with God! Dad removed all of the alcohol, cigars, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco from our home and cleaned up his vocabulary. We began attending church as a family at First Christian A/G in Cincinnati and eventually transferred membership to Heritage in the early 80's. My father helped coach the church softball team, prepared Wednesday night meals at the church, and taught me by example what real men should be like. He became a most tender, emotional, and servant-motivated man, and I'm still inspired by his transformation. My dad never had much, but he was always willing to give of himself and his time to the church in whatever way he could serve. Dad worked until the Fall of 2006, when he finally retired. Dad was promoted to his Heavenly home in May of 2007, and I look forward to the day when we will be reunited.

Graciously submitted in honor of my Daddy!

Mike O'Ryan