Gretchen Ryan, 87, of Hendersonville passed away Sunday, November 29, 2020 at the Elizabeth House after a short illness.
A native of Gaylord, MI, Gretchen has been a resident of Hendersonville for nearly twenty-five years. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) in 1956 and taught kindergarten for a time before marrying John L. Chestnut of Detroit, MI. For twelve years, Gretchen taught second grade at Detroit Country Day School in Birmingham, MI, and a further ten years as a full-time substitute teacher in various public schools in Farmington, MI.
Gretchen dedicated her free time to a wide range of volunteer activities. In Michigan, she volunteered in the pharmacy at Beaumont Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and Meal on Wheels. In Hendersonville, Gretchen volunteered at Pardee Hospital and Four Seasons Hospice. She was an active member of First United Methodist Church of Hendersonville, serving as a member of the Praying Hands Quilters and the Esther Circle.
Her husband of 38 years, John Henry (Jack) Ryan, died in 2017. She is survived by two sons, John Chestnut and his wife Patricia of Redford, MI and David Chestnut of Hendersonville.
A private service will be held at FUMCH sometime early in the new year. Memorial contributions can be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 S. Allen Road, Flat Rock, North Carolina, 28731.