Karl Schanz Ryser

November 2, 1930 ~ August 30, 2020


Sept. 5, 2020
Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 E. 1300 S., Salt Lake City, Utah

On Sunday August 30th, 2020 Karl Schanz Ryser, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and family patriarch peacefully passed away.

Born November 2, 1930, the youngest of seven children, to James J. Ryser, Sr, and Hilda Schanz in Salt Lake City, Utah. Karl served an honorable LDS mission to Germany, a time of his life he reflected on fondly. His affinity for German culture carried on and in his later years received the tender title of “Opa” from his family.

On December 4, 1954 Karl married his “Liebchen,” Sylvia Louise Rainwater in England where he was serving in the military during the Korean war. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple.

Karl’s professional life consisted of 35 years with the Salt Lake City School District where he worked as an educator and counselor. After early retirement he spent another 25 years working with troubled youth at IHC. He also served 64 years at the University of Utah in guest services and worked faithfully in the Salt Lake Temple as an assigned greeter – the perfect assignment for someone who loved meeting and talking to people.

Karl was a living example of Christ’s teachings. He was kind-hearted, hardworking, and humble. His family will miss him and mourn the loss of this great man.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife Sylvia Rainwater Ryser, brother James and four sisters: Lucille, Berniece Stewart, Pauline Graham and Belle Strand. He is survived by his brother, Charles, his four children, Karl Schanz Ryser Jr. (Julie Featherstone), Kary Grant Ryser (Kaye Haslam), Cindy Ann Ryser Strong (Blake Strong), and Stephen R. Ryser (Erin Davis), fifteen grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his beloved dog, “Porsche.”

A graveside service will be held Saturday, September 5th at Larkin Sunset Lawn for immediate family members only. In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite animal shelter in honor of Karl’s love for all “critters.”


Karl was one of the best men I knew. I had the privilege of visiting him at The Ridge on a regular basis for almost a year, where we talked about the church; the gospel; his family; his yard; what we had learned and were learning from our lives; deep questions of politics, society, and the eternal; how much he missed his house and his garden and mostly his dear wife; and, often, how grateful we were for what life had given us. Each time, I came away more optimistic about the world and grateful for Karl. He has lived a good life and become a very good man. I'm blessedl to have known him.

- Stephen Roth
Dear Ryder Family, I worked with your dad at the U, ushering. I loved to come to work and find Karl there, also. I considered him a good friend. We would often stay late talking about time shares and traveling. (Karl - I think the first time I met your dad is when we were double dating and your dad got us into a concert at the “Special Events Center”. I thought that was pretty cool of him!) After Karl started working nights for IHC, he shared stories about the kids he was working with. He was certainly a loving, caring guy...and a hard worker. I will always many have fond memories of Karl. I really enjoyed his company. When he cared for his aging mother, I learned a lot about having compassion for an ailing parent (something I had never thought about as a teenager!) I hope all goes well for you at the funeral tomorrow. I’m sad for you all for having your dad gone out of your lives. He was a treasure of a guy. Sincerely, Denise

- Denise Call Landvatter
We were sorry to hear of the passing of Karl. Yet the family can celebrate a great life lived well, and know that he can join his sweet Sylvia. We have known the Rysers since about 1969 when we moved into "their" neighborhood, and always loved them and their children, some of whom we knew well. Good people! The last time we saw Karl was in The Ridge quite a few months ago, and we understand that his children have been taking care of him at their homes more recently. Our love to all. Don & Sandra Allen

- Don and Sandra Allen
What a great. I loved working with him at the U. He always had a smile and a greeting for all

- Carolyn Bramble