Private Funeral Held for Lura Lynn Ryan

Her husband, imprisoned former Gov. George Ryan, did not attend

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 8:20 PM CDT
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Former Gov. Jim Thompson remembers Lura Lynn Ryan, who died Monday night.

Former Gov. Jim Thompson remembers Lura Lynn Ryan, who died Monday night.

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Private funeral services were held Wednesday for former Illinois first lady Lura Lynn Ryan, but her imprisoned husband did not attend, his lawyer said.

Funeral and burial services were conducted at an undisclosed location, said Jim Thompson, attorney for former Gov. George Ryan.

Lura Lynn Ryan, 76, died late Monday at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee after a long bout with cancer. Her husband of 55 years was at her side.

George Ryan had been released from his prison cell in Terre Haute, Ind., to spend several hours with her on Monday, one of four times since January the prison's warden used his discretion to allow the former governor to see his ailing wife. Ryan's requests were repeatedly denied by the courts.

The first visit was in January to the hospital's intensive care unit. He was let out when she began chemotherapy and again over the weekend when her health took a turn for the worse. Each visit lasted only a few hours, Thompson has said.

Ryan wasn't released for the funeral. He was convicted on federal corruption charges in 2006, and has served three years of a 6 1/2-year sentence for racketeering, conspiracy, tax fraud and making false statements to the FBI.

Schreffler Funeral Homes in Kankakee has been handling Ryan's funeral arrangements. Spokeswoman Amy Schreffler said the Ryan family has asked that details of the services and burial not be released.

A public memorial is set for Friday at the funeral home, Schreffler said. No formal service will be held, but the family will be present to greet people who want to pay their respects and sign a guestbook.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations to the Lura Lynn Ryan Charitable Trust be sent to the funeral home, Schreffler said.

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