Thursday, October 16, 2003

Lloyd Ryan, 80, drove city buses for 44 years

Received 2 million mile award

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FAIRFAX - Lloyd F. "Duke" Ryan, retired operator of Cincinnati's public transportation vehicles, once estimated that he logged about 10 million miles carrying passengers around the city.

Mr. Ryan, who worked for Queen City Metro from 1944 until 1988, died Monday of cancer at Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash. The Fairfax resident was 80.

When he started out operating a streetcar for the privately owned Cincinnati Street Railway in 1944, he didn't plan to stay for 44 years.

His first route began in Walnut Hills, went to Norwood and ended up downtown.

Mr. Ryan remembered the streetcars fondly in an Enquirer story about his retirement. He recalled that the cars had no horns, but drivers hit a gong with their feet to warn pedestrians and other vehicular traffic. They had stoves for heat and hard-cane seats, Mr. Ryan said.

The streetcars were phased out in the late 1940s, and Mr. Ryan began driving a 40-foot bus. Over the years, he had a number of different routes - mostly on the east side.

In 1978, the National Safety Council presented him the 2-million-mile award - an honor given to drivers who had driven more than 2 million miles without an accident.

On the day he retired - the last day of 1988 - he let all his passengers ride for free.

"Since his retirement, he was very dedicated to his family and spent lots of time with kids, grandkids and great-grandkids," said his daughter, Judy Ryan of Anderson Township. "He loved that."

Mr. Ryan grew up in Cincinnati and served with the Army in Germany in 1948.

He was preceded in death by a son, Michael L. Ryan, in 1975.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include Beatrice "Bea" Ormes Ryan, his wife of 55 years; two other daughters, Kathleen Morrison of Batavia and Judy Ryan of Anderson Township; two sons, Dan Oakley and Joe of Fairfax; three brothers, Robert of Amelia, Gerald of Hyde Park and Don of Finneytown; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Visitation is from 9-11 a.m. today at Witt, Good & Kelsch Funeral Home, 3026 Madison Road, Oakley. Mass of Christian burial is at 11:30 a.m. today at St. Cecilia Church, 3105 Madison Road.

Memorials: Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242.


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