Thomas Ryan

Died: March 12, 2019
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Thomas K. Ryan, 92, of Venice, FL, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2019.

He was born in Anderson, IN on June 6, 1926.

Following High School, he attended the University of Notre Dame and the University of Cincinnati school of art.

Tom began his career as a commercial artist in Muncie, Indiana. His love of the old west and his creative vision merged in 1965 as he created Tumbleweeds, a major nationally syndicated Cartoon strip. Distributed in newspapers nationwide by King Features the award-winning strip was transformed into a musical and performed in Las Vegas. In addition, Tumbleweeds has been, and still is, featured at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida in the cartoon section of the Park. He published 27 books in the U.S. and abroad. His warmth and irreverent sense of humor is reflected in his work and marked the character of the man himself.

Ryan is preceded in death by his loving wife, Joanne Ryan. His four children, Linda Klocke (Jack) of Pensacola, FL, Tim Ryan (Ann) of St. Petersburg, FL, Dan Ryan of Venice, FL, and Diane Finn (Andy) of Alexandria, VA. He had 9 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

A private service was held at Farley Funeral Home and Venice Memorial Gardens on Monday, the 18th of March.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Several Sources Shelters.

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Died: March 12, 2019

Condolences for Thomas Ryan

Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory.


Velma Coontz posted on 1/11/21

My prayers for the friends and family of Thomas Ryan. He was a great man who had artistic talent and gift of humor to brighten the days of so many people for so many years.


Eric posted on 2/26/20

My condolences on the passing of this magnificent artist. I have fond memories of sitting in my aunt & uncle’s living room reading the comic (If I remember correctly the Dutch version was called “Yippee!”) as a boy. I loved that both the drawing and writing are of equally high caliber.


Mark Wiesner posted on 6/20/19

Farewell, Ryan. You will always be remembered.


David Briner posted on 4/7/19

To a wonderful person, a great businessman. And someone who could take on technology very fast. I hope you can read this from heaven. Also to the memory of an awesome cartoonist and artist. Computer trainer: David T Briner.


H. W. Hatton posted on 3/25/19

My deepest condolences to all of the extended family of Mr. Ryan. I shall miss him very much. One of my greatest pleasures was to receive materials from Mr. Ryan with his personal wishes and signature. While people expect to smile or laugh at a cartoonist's work, the innate lessons of "life" are passed on to us in many thought provoking ways with the subtle and not so subtle humour of the artist. How often have readers identified their boss with the "Chief" or their daughter's unfortunate choice of a date with "Bucolic Buffalo?" Many times I am sure. At the end of the day, I hope I am a better person in the way I treat other people form the lessons learned from Mr. Ryan which provided a mirror to our own individual foibles. To be able to smile, without guilt is a remarkable gift and again thank you Mr. Ryan for this. I hope that the Tumbleweeds website will be maintained in the future, as it is truly a special piece and place of our American art history. H. Will Hatton Bryn Myrddin Setters 315.825-1064


Frederic Motz posted on 3/25/19

I have been a fan of Tom Ryan’s and “Tumbleweeds” since I started reading the comic strip in the “Atlanta Journal” in 1973. Mr. Ryan’s gentle sense of humor and clever use of words was a strong element throughout the entire run of the strip. I collected the strip for many years, and I started following the strip on-line from 1999 through the end of the series in 2007. I have also enjoyed the “” site that Mr. Ryan maintained for many years. I know that I express the feeling of many of his fans around the world when I say how much he will be missed. My condolences to his family.


Theo Keijzer posted on 3/22/19

I have never met mr Ryan or ever have spoken with him. All contact was by email. I discovered TUMBLEWEEDS several years after he had stopped making the strip, by finding some US-books in The Netherlands. I immediately loved the strip; the drawings, the figures and the humor: magnificent! From that day I started collecting everything I could find around the world about TUMBLEWEEDS. Because an email-address was found on his website, I started to communicate with mr Ryan and at first his reply was short but friendly, however we have had a more extend contact during the years that followed. I am very proud to have published a few books of TUMBLEWEEDS during this period, and having started a website (is still not ready) as a tribute to him and his work. In the week of his passing away I have bought the very last book of TUMBLEWEEDS that was missing in my collection, so now I have all 70 (!) books of TUMBLEWEEDS. I want to thank him for all the fun he has made with TUMBLEWEEDS. My condolences to his family. With sad regards!


David Fode posted on 3/22/19

Tumbleweeds has and will always be my favorite comic strip. Mr. Ryan's penwork and sense of humor always stood out on the comic page, and as a young boy I would have a binder of my (lousy) drawings of every new character he would introduce, which were many. I'm very sorry for your loss, and also the loss of one of the greatest cartoonists that ever put pen to paper.