Kenneth R. Ryals
On August 20th, 2020 Kenneth R Ryals a beloved brother, uncle, great uncle, and dear friend to many passed away unexpectedly in Santa Barbara, CA. Ken was most known for his passion for music which started at an early age while planning music for church services with his mother, Martha Ryals. His music career began with the Tucson Boys Chorus, where he traveled the world performing at the age of 9. His talents led him to perform professionally with the vocal jazz group “Cloud Burst”, on cruise ships and at venues in both Las Vegas and Reno. During his tours he performed with artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Wonder, and flamenco guitarist Paco Peña. After graduating with his MA in music from the University of Arizona, Ken moved to Santa Barbara, CA to be close to his sister, Karen Ryals. He served as music director at the Santa Barbara Mission and for the last 11 years at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, he was also a vocal teacher and jazz choir director at Santa Barbara City College.
Ken’s humor and infectious laugh had a way of making strangers feel like old friends and lifting the spirits of those around him. His charisma was captivating and impossible to ignore. With a warm smile and a hilarious story, he brightened every room he was in. His light will forever be missed.
We invite you to join us in celebrating his life. An online service will be held on zoom on Oct 3rd at 11am. Zoom ID #99382231332 or contact the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara to R.S.V.P. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ridley-Tree Cancer Society (where Karen was treated) or PAW’s, to honor his girls.