Rita Ann Ryan

Rita Ann Ryan

Rita was born in Emmetsburg, Iowa on July 20, 1949
Rita passed away peacefully and entered eternal rest on September 12, 2022

Predeceased by parents Catherine Ellen Phillips and John Thomas Ryan, brother John Patrick Ryan, and nephew Michael Ryan.

She is survived by sister, Kathleen Mary Steinbock; nieces and nephews: Mary (Scott) Malone, Paul Steinbock, Joseph (Tracey) Steinbock, Catherine Steinbock, John (Libby) Ryan, Daniel (Suzanna) Ryan, Kathleen (Tom) McClenahan, Brigid (Jeremy) Carmen.

Rita was the youngest of three. She grew up in the small town of Emmetsburg Iowa. After High School Rita moved to Omaha NE and obtained her teaching degree from Creighton University. Rita then became a Latin teacher at Central High School.

With her love for teaching she remained with Central for 42 years.
She enjoyed travel and has taken students on many educational tours abroad. Rita truly enjoyed teaching. Rita has impacted many student’s lives for the better.

When Rita was not spending time teaching or with student activities, she enjoyed spending time with her cats and loved animals. In addition, Rita’s Irish heritage was near and dear to her heart. She was a member of the National Order of Lady Hibernians. She also enjoyed Irish dancing.

Most important to Rita was spending the with her family and friends. She will be missed very much. It brings comfort to know she is in God’s welcoming arms and likely doing the Irish Jig with her family in Heaven.

Rita was the recipient of several awards. Some are included below:

Alice Buffet Outstanding Teacher
Central Teacher of the Year
Central High School Hall of Fame – Distinguished Educator

FAMILY RECEIVES FRIENDS: SUN, September 18, 4:30-6:30 p.m., followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 6:30 all at West Center Chapel.

MEMORIAL MASS: MON, September 19, 10:30 a.m., St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church,  6116 Dodge St. Omaha, NE.

Memorials are suggested to Central High School Foundation.

To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service and Mass, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.


  • Victoria Duncan Posted September 13, 2022 12:47 pm

    I was fortunate enough to have her for four years in high school and to visit Italy and Greece along side her. A life well lived.

  • Gary Groff Posted September 13, 2022 11:33 pm

    A Central High Eagle through and through.Sincere to condolences to the family and her many friends

  • George and Peg O’Dea Lippert Posted September 14, 2022 9:35 am

    Eternal rest to Rita, a warrior on many fronts. Peace to her beloved family and friends.

  • Gina Pearson Posted September 14, 2022 11:26 am

    My heartfelt condolences to all the family. Rita, or I should say, Ms. Ryan, was one of a kind! As I walked down the many halls of Central High School (’74 grad) every day for three years, I could always count on seeing Ms. Ryan’s smiling face and welcoming nature. She was such a kind soul. Despite her encouragement to try Latin (wasn’t up for the task), I settled for Spanish, but Rita remained in the picture as she was very good friends with my Spanish teacher, Vickie Anderson. They don’t make many teachers like them anymore! They were truly dedicated and passionate teachers that cared deeply for their students. It does my heart good to know that Rita and Vickie have been reunited in heaven. God Bless them.

  • Colleen M Posted September 14, 2022 4:09 pm

    Salve,Magistra! Best teacher ever! I still have my Latin Club t-shirt from 1997. You will be missed! Everyone loved you!!!

  • Philip currans Posted September 14, 2022 4:25 pm

    We are so sorry to hear of Rita’s death. She was a fine lady and will be missed. We went to school together for elementary and hs. Remember her fondly. Phil Currans

  • Todd Jaroch Posted September 14, 2022 8:54 pm

    Rest peacefully, Ms. Ryan. I know there will be a place waiting for in Elysium! From classes and Latin Club, Certamen and more, Latin was always the best part of my day and you were always my favorite teacher.


  • August Carlson Posted September 15, 2022 8:00 am

    Words cannot describe how Rita Ryan left an indelible effect on my educational achievements while at Central High School, and later at Creighton University. Ms Ryan was truly a one of kind in both spirit and grace. “Gratias ab imo pectore”.

  • Mary Dierbeck Posted September 15, 2022 3:33 pm

    Rita and I were inseperable growing up. Her Mom “Katie” and my Dad “Jack” were sister and brother. I was just a few months ahead of her in age, so we were in the same grade and were best friends throughout grade school and high school. Her big sister Kathy Steinbach took us everywhere when she got her license. We had great fun. Rita was always fun to be around. Unfortunately I was located too far from Omaha to visit very often. I had always hoped to go on one of Rita’s trips but was never able too. I was incredibly sad when Rita was diagnosed with Alzheimers. But she did recognize me at her 70th BD party and that was the last time we were together. Now she will be in heaven with her Dad, Mom and brother Pat. Rita was so loving, and her family, students and friends loved her back. Rest in Peace, my Sweet Cousin.

  • Jim Harrington Posted September 16, 2022 8:55 am

    Rita Ryan was the most dedicated teacher. She left an indelible impression on all of her students, but she also improved the lives of the teachers with whom she worked. Hers was a wonderful life that concluded far too soon. My condolences to the family and friends who will miss her dearly.

  • The dunkesons Posted September 18, 2022 1:01 pm

    Rest in peace

  • Sue Ward and Tim Crnkovich Posted September 18, 2022 4:28 pm

    Rest In Peace Rita . We loved you . You touched more lives and made lasting impressions on so many generations of people ! A fierce Irish spirit , always leading the way with your many charges in tow while traveling all over Europe , always surrounded by friends who loved you . We will never forget you ! Condolences to the family . You lost a great one .

  • Sue Ward and Tim Crnkovich Posted September 18, 2022 4:33 pm

    Rest In Peace Rita . We loved you . You touched more lives and made lasting impressions on so many generations of people ! A fierce Irish spirit , always leading the way with your many charges in tow while traveling all over Europe , always surrounded by friends who thought the world of you! We will never forget you ! Condolences to the family and to Rita , may the road rise to meet you and may the wind be at your back…

  • MSG Sharon Cooper Posted September 18, 2022 4:36 pm

    I taught at Central and greatly enjoyed the times we spent together. I will remember Rita very fondly. It is said that as long as someone speaks of you, says your name, you live on. Rita left me with many memories, so I will do my part to keep her memory alive.

  • Renee Besancon Lips Posted September 19, 2022 10:14 am

    My heartfelt condolences to Ms. Ryan’s family. I was one of her Latin students for three years (CHS class of 1988), and she was one of my favorite teachers. She always stood right at her door to welcome her students each class period, and that’s how I will always remember her: as a welcoming spirit and a bright, bright light. Rest in peace, Ms. Ryan, and know that you made a difference every day.

  • Catherine Posted April 28, 2023 5:41 pm

    My Aunt Rita gave everything her all. She taught me so many good things. I miss our daily conversations about life. She was always a sympathetic ear. Til the day she was called to Heaven,, she was a blessing to me. Until we meet again Aunt Rita. Your stubborn embarrassing and love you forever niece.

    I will also add she and mom Kathy did so many fun things together. Whenever they were together they laughed a lot. It was two sisters having a lot of fun. They were there for each other through the thick and thin of things. Someday they will be while family again . But not too soon of course . 🙂

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *