Cover photo for Ryan Edward Syverson's Obituary
Ryan Edward Syverson Profile Photo
1972 Ryan 2023

Ryan Edward Syverson

February 29, 1972 — August 18, 2023

Ryan Syverson, 51, of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota died on Friday, August 18, 2023, at his home with his loving family by his side.

Ryan Edward Syverson was born February 29, 1972, the son of Edward and Barbara (Bement) Syverson in Detroit Lakes, MN. He was special from the moment he was born having a leap day birthday! He was baptized and confirmed at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Waubun, Minnesota.  Ryan graduated from Waubun High School in 1990. Ryan attended and later graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN and began his coaching career while in college, at Tracy-Milroy in Tracy, Minnesota. Ryan’s first teaching position began in Minneota, Minnesota. He coached football and basketball during his 4 years at Minneota.  In 1998 he moved to Pelican Rapids and began teaching 6th grade and coaching. On July 24, 1999, Ryan was united in marriage to Dana Kemper.  They built a beautiful life together in Pelican Rapids. 

Ryan and Dana welcomed their daughter, Abigail Marie, on April 6, 2002.  From the day she was born, she was his “Sweet Pea,” his pride and joy!  On January 21, 2007, they welcomed their son, Brody Ryan.  Brody came into this world as a determined fighter with a diagnosis of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Brody was Ryan’s motivation in life and his side kick.  If Brody could be a miracle, Ryan knew he could face all the challenges with the fight and will to live. Ryan loved being a dad and husband.  His family was his world! Special date nights and bringing home flowers and little surprises for Dana were his specialty. He never missed an activity his children were in, even throughout his cancer treatments, he made sure he was there! Cheering on Abby and Brody at every cross country meet, track meet, basketball game, football game, baseball game, band concert or whatever it was, he was there and so proud of them!  Family vacations and adventures, whether big or small, were his favorite.  He would do anything for his family.  He made sure breakfast was ready every morning and lunches were packed each day, along with helping with the housework.  He was always finding ways to take care of his family.  He loved deeply and lived life fully!

Ryan was very active and had many hobbies, including fishing, hunting, and gardening.  He loved to fish.  If he could have been in his boat every day, he would have.  Trips to Canada were a favorite, but any day on the lake was great! Spending days at Strawberry Lake at the Syverson cabin was always special.  All his nieces and nephews loved Uncle Ryan.  He always took the time to play with them, teach them new things, and make them feel special.  Being with family and making memories was so important to him. Gardening, landscaping, taking care of his lawn, and his apple trees were some of his summer hobbies. He took pride in his apple trees.  His students enjoyed his apples all throughout the fall.  Ryan was a lifelong learner and enjoyed history. On road trips he would stop and read every historic roadway plaque. He loved lighthouses and ships. A summer trip to Michigan in 2022 was a dream trip for him as he got to explore around 20 lighthouses along the coast.  He continues to be a guiding light! 

Ryan loved being an elementary teacher for 29 years. He was a 3rd grade teacher. His students loved Mr. Syverson.  He was creative, encouraging, and caring. He would look for prizes to give away at his auctions and ticket drawings he had for his students. Even when Ryan would receive chemo treatments, he would teach in the morning, receive chemo treatments, and teach the next day.  Being a coach was a huge part of Ryan’s life. He coached for his entire teaching career. Football, basketball, baseball, youth sports, fishing league, summer traveling leagues, officiating, being a ref, doing the book and scoreboard for basketball games, you name it, Ryan did it with a smile on his face! Ryan always put 110% into helping kids become the best they could be!  He was so passionate about teaching and coaching. No matter what the season, Ryan was drawing up plays and finding ways to become a better coach and teacher.  Many life lessons have been taught on the field, court, locker room, and classroom. He was proud to be a Pelican Rapids Viking.  Once a Viking, always a Viking!

Ryan was a beautiful soul taken too soon.  His faith was strong and was evident in how he lived each day.  Often telling others “What is Faith without Faith.”  His diagnosis of Glioblastoma (brain cancer) was devasting but he was determined to never let it stop him.  His motivation to live life to the fullest all throughout his 3 ½ year cancer battle gave hope to others that if he could do it, others can too.  Never give up on your dreams.  “Work hard and believe you can” were his words of wisdom for others. “If you want to be AMAZING, you have to work for it!” He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and students.  His legacy will live on in all those he loved.

Ryan was a member of St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus.

Ryan is survived by his wife, Dana; daughter Abby, son Brody;  parents Edward and Barbara Syverson; brothers: Jon (Jenni) Syverson with children: Peyton, Parker (Devyn), Kendra, Kenley, and Pryer;  Perry (Melissa) Syverson with children: Olea, Oriana, and Brielle; Nick (Jessica) Syverson with children: Xander and Hannah; sister Ashleigh (Kelly) Riggle with children: Cody, Jacob, Finley, Ben, and Maverick; in-laws Michael and Colette Kemper; sisters-in-law: Tera (Gavin) Nordby with children: Hailey, Landon, and Mauer and Monica (Dave) Peterson with children: Harper and Beckett; numerous aunts and uncles. 

Memorials preferred to the “I Believe” Scholarship Fund in memory of Ryan, who believed everything is possible!

You are invited to wear Syverson shirts, gray for brain cancer, or orange and black for Pelican Rapids Vikings colors.

Visitation: Wednesday, August 23, 2023, from 5:00-7:00 pm St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church, rural Detroit Lakes, MN. Knights of Columbus will lead the Rosary at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the Celebration of Life at Pelican Rapids High School Leaders Gymnasium.

Celebration of Life: 10:30 a.m., Thursday, August 24, 2023, the Pelican Rapids High School Leaders Gymnasium in Pelican Rapids with Monsignor Mike Foltz officiating. 

Interment: St. Mary of the Lakes Cemetery

Please keep Ryan's family in your thoughts and prayers.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church

20996 Co Rd 20, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Thursday, August 24, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Pelican Rapids High School Leaders Gymnasium

310 South Broadway, Pelican Rapids, MN 56572

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 6223

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree