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Glendora Community 'Fixture' Dead at 64

Popular Glendora resident Mark Ryan passed away Monday of natural causes.

If you lived in Glendora for awhile, you probably crossed paths with Mark Ryan at least once.

Ryan, 64, was known by many as a well-loved and long time resident of Glendora. Ryan was called a fixture in the community, riding his bicycle around town, popping in to local businesses and getting to know nearly every person he met.

But the man community members called “Mark of the Park” for his constant presence in the Glendora community died Monday of natural causes in his home.

“Glendora is all he knew,” said Fritz Mensing, owner of . “Mark never got to drive, he had no family of his own. This community was his family.”

Mensing said he was close to Ryan for years and said Ryan, who was mentally disabled, enjoyed helping out local businesses with small chores.

“He’d do some sweeping, run some errands for us,” said Mensing. “Everyone loved him.”

Ryan was born in Sioux City, Iowa on Oct. 9, 1947. His family moved to Glendora in 1965, a place Ryan called home ever since.

As community members heard news of Ryan’s passing, friends flooded Facebook with messages of condolences and memories of Ryan. On Glendora’s Fallen, a page dedicated to deceased Glendora residents, members reminisced on Ryan’s outgoing friendliness and his love for the Glendora community.

One woman commented how she returned to Glendora after being gone for 15 years. She said Ryan still recognized and knew her even after all the years.

Others recalled how Ryan enjoyed engaging people in conversation about his favorite topics, including hot rods, tractors, construction and his nieces he loved to dote on.

“People who knew Mark always felt like he was part of the family,” said Ryan’s former neighbor Shelli Templeton. 

Several times Ryan’s bicycle was stolen and each time, friends chipped in to purchase Ryan a new bike.

“He was a gentle soul, someone who truly brought the best out of people,” said Templeton.

Ryan is survived by his brother, Rick Ryan of Valencia, CA; two sisters Geri Monroe of Upland, CA and Janine Drummond of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; and four nieces Erin and Ally Monroe of Beckinridge, CO and Dana and Kristen Drummond of Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Funeral services for Ryan will be 7 p.m. Monday, May 14 at . A funeral mass will be 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 15 at St. Dorothy’s Church, followed by a burial service at .

Sue C. May 10, 2012 at 03:19 AM
A kind and gentle soul. Mark taught my children kindness, acceptance, and gave them the gift of unconditional friendship. He was a gift to our town and I believe we knew this all along. Blessings to his family at this time of loss.
Nancy Clay May 10, 2012 at 03:23 AM
It would be nice for the city to make his bike a statue with a nice plaque... In memory of a gental soul, an angel on earth and now in heaven. <3
Betty Gervais May 10, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Betty Gervais I met mark when I was in 2nd grade at Sunflower School, then K-8th, he was a hall monitor and helped all the new kids find their classes, so important he was to all of us, that was 52 years ago. He remained my friend and I had the opportunity to :"take care" of him the last 10 years where I work. He was a "gem" and truly Glendoras' finest, he will be so missed!
Denise B. May 10, 2012 at 06:20 AM
We are working on the bike being featured at the Historical Society Museum along with a collage of photos of the memorial as it evolves over the next few days. We will also include one of the panels signed by the community now in place in downtown Glendora. We have plenty of panels for you to stop by and leave your written thoughts for Mark. They will be up through Sunday at 7pm.
Tina West May 10, 2012 at 06:57 AM
What a sweet, unassuming, warm soul... Mark Always had a kind word on the tip of his tongue for everybody. He was an angel here and special to decades of children & people from all walks of life. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend his services, but Friday I will light a special candle for him and let his light shine until it goes out. I will pray for one of Gods Favorite Angels on Earth.... Saturday I will plant something beautiful in his memory and everytime I see it I will smile in fond memories of Mark Ryan and remember him smiling at me. He was/is loved and will be missed by all that were fortunate enough to have him in their lives. OXOXOXOXOX
Tina West May 10, 2012 at 06:59 AM
Great advice Wendy!!!
Debra McKee Roset May 10, 2012 at 08:12 AM
Mark always had a smile on his face and a happy thought to share. No negativity there....something that's rare these days. He was a man of simple means but perfectly happy with his lot in life. While the rest of us want, want, want whether it's cars, boats, vacations, expensive clothes, jewelry the list goes on and on, all Mark wanted was to ride his bike, smile, talk to people and help anyone with odd jobs or run errands, all of which are free! I think there's a lesson to be learned here.RIP Mark
Jerry Kitchel May 10, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Thank you, Patch.com, for remembering Mark and honoring his life with this heartfelt story!
John Geddes May 10, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Actually thought I remembered occasionally seeing Mark on his bike while I was riding my "J.C.Higgins" to Bocks Toy store in the 50's but must have been the 60's. My kids, now in their 30's, have memories of what a kind and friendly person Mark was also. Sad to hear he is gone.
Julie Barnett May 10, 2012 at 06:12 PM
We absolutely need a sculpted statue of Mark somewhere downtown. I have never met someone so kind, gentle and unassuming who left more of an impression on a town. Let's see if the city can do this!
Kerry Lynn May 10, 2012 at 06:12 PM
The lyrics are perfect!!! I often tell people I live in "Mayberry" LA County and Mark was a huge part of what gave Glendora that "Mayberry" feel. He always had a smile and kind words for who ever he happened upon. There will never me another Mark but I pray that his spirit lives on in each one of us and that we will take the time to smile and say hello and possibly offer a kind word to our neighbor that may be having a round day. He definately left is mark on Glendora. RIP Mark of the Park.
Wendy Briones May 10, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Yes, he always reminded me to treasure what really matters in life. Our relationships, an appreciation for life itself, and to see the beauty that surrounds us every day. I believe that Mark had a special gift/purpose and the ability to share that with everyone who knew him. He was and always will be a blessing to our lives!
Selma Guzman May 10, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Jerry Kitchel! It has been a long time since I've seen your name. Mark surely was a special Glendoran. Selma Guzman
P.Rode May 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I met Mark in the mid 80's when I worked in Glendora on Foothill. He would come by our store daily. He knew everything that was going on around town. Always had positive things to say, he never failed to bring joy to my day. Another amazing thing about Mark was that he could remember the name of each and every person he met! He definitely meant a great deal to the people that have lived and worked in Glendora. I hope there will be some kind of lasting tribute to Mark Ryan in Glendora. He deserves it!
Jeanette Scheiern May 10, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I have lived in Glendora for over 17 years. Mark was a kind,happy spirited gentlemen! His smile lit up Glendora,soft voice. he would give a helping hand to anyone he came across. He was smart his memory was amazing. He will be missed by everyone who knew him! My heart goes out to Mark's family,we will miss seeing him,but his memories will remain in our hearts and Heaven is blessed to have Mark there! Glendorian's we have an angel watching over us now! May everyone be surrounded by Marks embrace. God bless those who knew Mark! Our prayers are with his family and friends, Jeanette S.
Tony May 10, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I first Mark in 1966, when my family moved to Glendora. He was a kind and gentle Soul. The night sky has one more star now. Safe travels, my friend.
Lisa Bratcher May 10, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I grew up in Glendora and graduated in 1986. Mark was a fixture in the community. When I worked at Video Depot, he visited every day. Although I have lived out of state for the past 17 years, I consider Glendora my home and Mark was a part of that. May he rest in peace.
Holly Farrell May 10, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Glendora will miss this fine man. Get ready, heaven!
Mina Miakoda May 10, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Robert,... here comes your friend Mark to keep you company. R.I.P. Mark you were what most people should be, a gentle, kind and extreme soul, even thought I'm no longer in Glendora, you will be missed by us and we will see you soon. Have a good trip buddy!!!!! PS: your bike will never be taken again, guaranteed!!!!!!
Lori Bates May 11, 2012 at 01:17 AM
R.I.P. Mark, you are with your mom and dad now. You were well known in Glendora as Mark on the bike. You were so kind to every body. You sure knew your music and cars. You will truley be missed.
Joy Edmonds Martini May 11, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I Love You Mark Rip
Bonnie P. May 11, 2012 at 03:20 AM
What amazing stories of how one person can touch so many lives in so many different ways. Just a reminder of how a simple word like "Hi" can have such an impact on others. May peace be with his family knowing that is was so very loved by his Glendora family.
Melissa May 11, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Mark was brilliant! He was smarter than all of us put together. He knew what was important. He showed us every day. Mark loved all of us and we will miss him....but every time we think of him, we will smile and feel joy.
Dena Newman May 11, 2012 at 09:10 AM
I have so many great memories of Mark all over town but especially at the Rec Park. I was fortunate to have grown up on Dalton Ave and was at the park practically eveyday. He always sat with us and just hing out. Everyone loved Mark.. I saw a few years and was so amazed that he was same just a older looking. Still the same gentle soul. Now he is with Jesus I am sure. God bless and comfort his family. Dena Newman
Hazel Lodevico-To'o (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 07:03 PM
It was my pleasure sharing Mark's story with the rest of the community!
Donna Smith May 11, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Glendora without Mark is like peanut butter without jelly, thunder without lightening, a kiss without a squeeze...It will just never be the same without him. A huge loss for Glendora, but heaven has gained an extra special angel. His smile and kindness will not be forgotten.
Jerius Williams May 12, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Having retired from the City of Glendora's Public Works Department Engineering and Water Divisions, I recall Mark as a fixture around town and our job sites. He had a keen interest in construction and always a pleasure to talk to. We affectionately referred to him as "Inspector Mark" as it seemed he always knew who was working where and when and showed up! A kind and gentle person who will be missed and remembered for all the smiles he left behind.
Diana Carter May 12, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I first met Mark when I was 12 years old when my sister worked at Napoli's (next to the old Ralphs on Foothill) he would hang out for hours with us sharing stories and smiling, he was always smiling. I remember he was at the opening of Miller's Outpost and was the first to receive and wear a free T shirt from the manager. I do not think I have ever gone more than a couple of months without seeing "Downtown Mark". I would go to Maria's for lunch from time to time and see him and he would never fail to ask how my sister and family was doing and never in 30 years did he forget my name. I think a memorial plaque downtown would be a fitting tribute. I for one would be happy to contribute. Mark was a blessing to our community and Heaven is better for having him.
Wally Marshall May 14, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Mark Ryan will be missed and I was sad to hear of his passing. I have been away from Glendora of 28 years and did actually see him on one of my return visits 5 years ago, but did not say hello and now wish I did. I am certain that his legacy of kindness will be spoken about at his services and the reminder for us to slow down and love people around us will also be a strong message. Thank you Mark Ryan for living such a good life.
Noelle Baysinger May 15, 2012 at 04:24 PM
It's just not gonna be the same, he brought that something special that made Glendora stand out in a crowd. He will be very missed and I have been very blessed to have had someone like Mark touch my life in the kindest of ways!

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