Patricia Ryan Liska, 95, formerly of River Forest and Oak Park, died on Dec. 26, 2020.
Born in Chicago on Dec. 13, 1925 to a large Irish clan, she was raised in Obregon, Mexico, where she mastered Spanish and became bilingual at an early age. The Ryan family returned to Chicago and settled in Oak Park.
She attended Trinity High School and Rosary College (now Dominican University). After graduation, she married Bob Liska and together they raised their six children in River Forest, and she began her second career teaching special education in the Chicago Public Schools for 25 years, putting her Spanish and writing skills to great use.
Ms. Liska traveled the world with friends and family, including many domestic and international trips with children and grandchildren. She cherished those trips, often planning her next one before the last one was completed. She missed Antarctica only due to bad weather.
Family and friends are indebted for the love of life she shared and her unsurpassed art of communication, always engaging others and asking about their lives, families and interests.
She had a keen sense of humor and loved her Irish heritage. She embraced her faith and respected all others. She loved watching and interacting with children of all ages. She loved playing tennis at the Oak Park Tennis Club, bridge with her many dear friends, and dining at restaurants.
A voracious reader, and member of several book groups, she devoured stories of people, events and places that whetted her thirst for relationships and travel. She was the family matriarch with a healthy dose of wanderlust, experiencing life to its fullest.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; her son, Tom; her sister Honey (Dick) O'Hara; her brother, Bill Ryan; and her sisters-in-law, Fran Ryan, Marion (John) Ford, and Lorraine (Rollo) Christiansen.
She is survived by her brother, Larry (Nancy) Ryan; her sisters-in-law Jane Ryan and Jeanne (David) Stein; her sons Pat, Mike, Paul (Kathy), and Dan (Pam) Liska; and her daughter, Mary (Dan) Phelps. She was Nana/Gram to Jennifer Coolidge, Danielle (Paul) Eisenbacher, Tommy (Rachel) Liska, Katie (Brett) Novey, Maggie (Chip) Jessopp, Dan (Elizabeth) Phelps, Kate (Patrick) Smith, Beth (Drew) Seward, Bob Liska, and Sam Liska; and Bingo to Elise and Jacqueline Novey, Chase, Molly and Mac Jessopp, Tommy, Lulu, and Jojo Phelps, Emily and Claire Smith, Kay, Jack, Billy and James Seward.
A celebration of life will be held on June 25, 2021. In lieu of flowers send donations to Trinity High School in memory of Patricia Ryan Liska, 7574 W. Division St., River Forest, 60305.
Conboy-Westchester Funeral Home, Westchester, handled arrangements.