LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – Family, friends and co-workers remembered and celebrated the life of dedicated Broward Sheriff’s Detention Deputy Michael Ryan Sunday inside the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center.
The agency gave Deputy Ryan a farewell with full honors, after a career protecting and serving the community.
Deputy Ryan was remembered as a gentle giant and a man you wanted to work alongside.
“He got the job done,” said his supervisor, Major Josefa Benjamin. “He never questioned why he had to do it but rather how soon did you need it done.”
Benjamin said Ryan was the first line of defense at the Broward Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, keeping weapons and contraband out as well as making sure anyone coming inside the building was supposed to be there. She said it was a job he took seriously.
“You would walk in say good morning and he’s so focused on what’s he doing that you’d have to pause to get his attention,” Benjamin said.
Ryan was a big man — muscular and strong, even competing for a time in strong man competitions, his brother Patrick said.
Then on December 15, Ryan went into cardiac arrest in the parking lot at the jail while on duty.
Patrick said Michael was in the hospital and he could briefly communicate and began to improve. The family felt good about his chances of recovery.
“There was no way this guy wasn’t gonna make it back,” Patrick said.
But on New Year’s Eve, Michael died. It’s been a challenging and gut-wrenching time for his four brothers, wife Lori and 3 stepchildren.
“It’s hard to find words to find say goodbye to someone you loved for so long,” Patrick said.
During the ceremony, Sheriff Scott Israel presented the flag on Ryan’s coffin to Lori Ryan.
BSO had a gun salute, a final law enforcement call in his memory went out and there was a flyover in honor of this man who gave a large part of his life to law enforcement.
It was a career that defined him and sustained him.
“He found his place,” Patrick said. “He truly did.”
“He found a place among us,” Benjamin added. “Being a part of the Department of Detention made him proud and made us proud so it was a win-win.”