George Henry Ryder (1928-2017) longtime resident of Lake County, 54 years, passed way April 6, 2017 at his home in Lower Lake, CA. Born in San Jose, CA -1928 son of Irving and Mary Ryder. He grew up in Santa Clara County on their Rancho Escadendo with his two sisters Nellie and Patricia. He attended a one-room schoolhouse in Llagas Canyon and graduated from Lincoln High School Class of 1948. George joined the US Navy 1946 at the age of seventeen and served on board the USS Los Angeles in the Pacific until the end of the war in December 1947. In 1950 he married Mary Elizabeth Twiss and had two children, Steven and Jane Ryder. Since 1948, George made a career with CDF (California Division of Forestry) for over 37 years. He loved CDF and his 37 years of service. In 1962 he took a position to build and open the Konocti Conservation Camp in Lake County until retirement in 1984. George loved the great outdoor including hunting, fishing, and backpacking in God’s creation and never sat a minute still. He was a kind and loving man who always had a kind word and light-hearted joke. After retirement, George and Mary enjoyed travel in the 5th-wheel trailer as far as Alaska to Mexico to Washington DC.
Over the years he served in the Masonic Lodge for over 50 years, Shrine, Kiwanis Club, Lions Club, Konocti School Board for 39 years, Lake County School Board, President of Little League for 10 years, and Lower Lake Volunteer Fire Department. He received numerous awards and recognition for his community service including Congressional Record 2015 from the California House of Representatives for service at the Konocti School Board, Kiwanian of the Year 1970, Lions Club Citizen of the Year 1975, E.P.O. Elks Citizen of the Year 1973, Grand Lodge of Order of Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award 1972-1973, High Twelve International President 1989-90, L.C. Shrine Club President 1992, High Twelve International Recognition for Outstanding Service in 1995.
George knew how he wanted to live his life and he did so to the fullest. His favorite poem was “If” by Rudyard Kipling. It speaks volumes for how he lived his life. I know we will all truly miss him but are better off for having known him. George is survived by his wife, Mary, sister Nellie, brother-in law Robert Twiss, son Steven, son-in-law John Bonner, 4 grandchildren Mikael, Amanda, Suzanne, and Kathleen, and 6 great grandchildren Jayke, Jayse, and Mayci Ryder, and Gracie, Conner, Jai Campbell.
In honor of George Henry Ryder there will be a memorial service held at 11:00 AM, Friday, April 21st at the Clear Lake Callayomi #183 F&AM Masonic Lodge, 7100 S Center Dr, Clearlake, CA 95422, with full Military and Masonic Honors followed by a luncheon for all family and friends. Any Donations may be made to your American Legion Konocti Post 437, 14770 Austin Road, Clearlake, CA 95422.
Thank you to all those who helped him through his health challenges the last years of his life. Per his request, he will be cremated and family will gather in celebration this summer and scatter his ashes in God creation, the forest, he loved so much.