Cover photo for Gladys R. Ryan's Obituary
Gladys R. Ryan Profile Photo
1924 Gladys 2017

Gladys R. Ryan

October 19, 1924 — February 17, 2017

WHITEWATER - Gladys Ruth (Corfman) Ryan, age 92, was born Oct.  19, 1924, to George Dell Corfman and Mary (Litton) Corfman in Newton, Kansas. Gladys lived on the family farm just outside of Whitewater on K-196 for many years. She was the oldest of the three Corfman children. Her brother Clarence went to his heavenly home in 2009, and her sister Wilma still lives in rural Butler County outside of Eldorado. 

Gladys attended Whitewater schools and graduated from Whitewater High School in 1942. She went on to work at Boeing after high school. She lived in Newton at the time and would meet a group of people at Newell’s Corner to carpool to work. One of the members of the carpool was her soon to be husband Paul Ryan. Gladys and Paul were married on June 2, 1951. Paul and Gladys lived in Whitewater during their married life. During this time a small church on north Elm Street (formerly named Church Street) was going to be torn down. Paul and Gladys took on this labor of love as the site of the old church would soon be their family’s home. Paul and Gladys tore down the old church and built their house on the corner of Elm and First. Pat and Carla currently live in that same house. Gladys also helped Paul build the Scout House and two cabins at Toronto Lake. Paul and Gladys would spend many weekends at Toronto Lake camping and fishing.

In 1964 Gladys gave birth to their son Patrick. Paul, Gladys and Pat spent much time together camping, hunting, fishing, going to Boy Scout events, and sports activities. Gladys lost her husband Paul in 1971. Gladys and Pat would continue to live in Whitewater in their home on north Elm.  

Across the street from Gladys’ home was a house and dining establishment called “Carolyn’s”. Gladys met a dear friend there named Lyman Webb.  Lyman lived and worked there and Gladys often helped serve meals there on the weekends. Gladys and Lyman would become companions and share many years together. Gladys continued to be quite the handyman’s helper, as she and Lyman remodeled rental houses. Lyman’s family became her second family. The Webb children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren always held a very special place in her heart.   

After working at Boeing for many years, Gladys became the City Clerk of Whitewater. She held that position for 10 years. When the Whitewater Grade School secretary position came open Gladys went there to work for Herman Merritt, another dear family friend. Gladys would work there until she retired in 1986.

Gladys lived in Whitewater most of her life. She was a member of the Federated Church.  She and Lyman lived in Potwin for a short time and then moved back to Whitewater where they lived in the Sunflower Apartments until Lyman passed away. Gladys would soon move back to her Elm Street home and live with Pat and Carla for six years. Gladys took a bad fall and her health began to deteriorate. She was a fighter and would recover, but was not able to return to Pat and Carla’s. Gladys fought through many health related issues. She was a two-time survivor of breast cancer and worked through a broken hip during her stay with Pat and Carla.

Her sister Wilma continued to say what a fighter Gladys was even in the hospital. Wilma was Gladys’ best friend. The sisters talked on the phone almost every day; sometimes even twice a day. Gladys would tell Wilma the news from Whitewater and Wilma would tell her the new from Eldorado. Gladys suffered from macular degeneration and couldn’t read the paper or watch the news. Wilma was her daily update on what was happening in the community and world. Wilma said they have always be close. She remembers moving and trading furniture often. She said they were often referred to as the “Corfman Junk Girls”. They loved to tinker and work in their yards. Gladys always had the most well-kept yard and flower beds. She prided herself on neatness. She kept an immaculate house and always wanted things in their place.

Gladys has touched many lives throughout the years. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. After her son Pat - Scott, Erica, Peyton, and Paislee were her pride and joy. We are so glad she got to have quality time with the kids the past few years. She looked forward to their visits with great anticipation and would talk about the kids and their visits for days after.

 She continued to touch lives at Asbury Park. A true sign of how much she was loved was seeing her dear friend Patty, an RN at Greenhous 405, and six of the staff members come in to her hospital room on Thursday to say “good-bye”. Gladys had several visitors at Newton Medical Center on those last two days. She was surrounded by her family as she took her last breath and went to her heavenly home Friday night, February 17, 2017..

Gladys lived a full life – she loved her family and friends and will be missed dearly. 

The Visitation will be held from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m., Monday, at Lamb Funeral Home in Whitewater.  The Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at the Federated Church of Whitewater.  Interment will be in the Whitewater Cemetery.  A Memorial Fund has been established for Federated Church in care of Lamb Funeral Home, 120 S Main, Whitewater, KS, 66861.  Online Condolences may be left for the family at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, February 20, 2017

6:30 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Hill Mennonite Church

10218 SE 12th St, Whitewater, KS 67154

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Interment following funeral service

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