In Memoriam : Les Ryan

Les Ryan Les Ryan - age: 80
(August 19, 1932 to February 23, 2013 )
Resident of La Quinta, California

Les Ryan, 80, passed away after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Loving husband, beloved father, grandfather and brother. Les is survived by his children; daughters, Victoria Ryan, Patricia Ryan; and sons, David and his wife, Diane, and Leslie and his wife, Carolyn. Also surviving is his sister, Joyce Melton; grandchildren, Austin Ryan, Lara Gruden, Brenden Ryan, Kylee Ryan, Casey Ryan, Camren Ryan, Kellyn Ryan, Trisha Ryan and Colby Reed and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Priscilla Ryan. Les lived a long, full life, born August 19, 1932 to his parents, Francis and Eleanor Ryan in Eureka, Calif. He received his first drum set at the age of 8. By the age of 15 he was such the accomplished drummer. In addition to his studies and sports schedule, playing both basketball and track at Eureka High, he was playing nights and weekends with one the of the most popular dance bands in the Humboldt area. His passion for music continued into college, attending Humboldt State University, where he majored in music and was a member of the Lumberjack Marching Band while he continued to be a two-sport athlete. By 1955, Les’ music career had taken him to Las Vegas where he even drummed with the Ink Spots, amongst other lounge acts. Ever the entrepreneur, he moved back North where he purchased his own resort “Laurel Dell Lodge” on beautiful Blue Lakes, Calif. Music would always be Les’ passion, but responsibilities and practicalities called and he answered by wearing many hats. Les was a policeman in Ukiah, becoming the first motorcycle policeman in the Ukiah Department history, while simultaneously becoming a building contractor. Real Estate came next, where he partnered in his first real estate brokerage, Mendo Realty. Music called again after meeting his wife, Priscilla, while drumming at an Ukiah nightclub. He took to the road once again playing back-up to a popular comedy group until 1973. Les and Priscilla purchased their first Century 21 Franchise in 1974, beginning in Ukiah. They grew to ten offices throughout Northern California. With his real estate offices established, Les was very active in his home community of Ukiah. He was named Realtor of the Year more than once. He served as President of the Board of Realtors and was active in charitable endeavors with the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, numerous clubs and affiliations. One of his proudest professional moments was being selected by his peers to sit on the National Brokers Council for Century 21, at the time, the largest real estate company in the world. Until his death, Les was still the longest standing independent broker in the Century 21 system. Les and his wife, Priscilla retired to La Quinta, Calif. in 2004 and he remained there until his passing, where he will be remembered by those who knew him as a “True Gentleman”. A rosary service will be held at 6 pm on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at Forest Lawn Mortuary in Cathedral City, Calif. A funeral service will be held at 10 am, on Monday, March 4, 2013 at Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in La Quinta. A memorial service will be held in Ukiah at the Eversole Mortuary on Friday March 8, 2013 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Les’ favorite charity, the Ronan Thompson Foundation to help fight children's cancer online at To view and sign this guestbook, please visit