Jeanith Ryle passed away just over one year ago on December 20, 2017. She was one of the strongest, most passionate women you could meet and made a significant local impact for those in Marion County with developmental disabilities.
Jeanith was not only a longtime board member serving for more than ten years on the board for the Marion County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD); she was a parent to a child with a developmental disability (DD). This gave her an inside perspective of those served by MCBDD and assisted the organization in making strides for those served as well as their families and caregivers.
Jeanith also dedicated 20 years of her life assisting other families in Ohio as an Information Specialist with the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD).
To honor her memory and her important work for the DD population, The OCECD purchased a bench with a plaque that reads, “In memory of Jeanith Ryle for her lifelong dedication to serving children with disabilities.” The bench is to be placed in a common area of Marca Industries where Jeanith’s daughter, Katie goes for day services. Katie and her friends can enjoy the bench while we all remember Jeanith and her tireless dedication to improve the lives of those served by Marca, OCECD, and the Marion County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
A small dedication was held to unveil the bench to Jeanith’s family. Present that day were Jeanith’s husband, Les, as well as three of her four children; Katie, Brooke, and Chris (Gregory could not attend). Jeanith’s mother, Grace Ratterman, and grandchildren, Jase and Adyson, and Chris’s fiancé, Allison Decker were also in attendance. Representatives of MCBDD, Marca, and OCECD came to share their memories of Jeanith and present the bench to the family.
Martha Lausé of OCECD who was a long-time co-worker of Jeanith’s recalled, “Even while she was lying in the hospital, she was giving me guidance and advice on how to handle a situation at work.” She added that Jeanith was the perfect mix of passion, strong will, and devotion.
Les spoke briefly of the rough year the family has had, “It’s been tough, but we are grateful that her work and her dedication has made a difference and will be memorialized through this thoughtful gift.”
The dedication and the bench are a small token of “thanks” to Jeanith and her family for sharing her precious time and expertise to make life better for those served in our community.