On Sunday August 30th, 2020 Karl Schanz Ryser, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and family patriarch peacefully passed away.

Born November 2, 1930, the youngest of seven children, to James J. Ryser, Sr, and Hilda Schanz in Salt Lake City, Utah. Karl served an honorable LDS mission to Germany, a time of his life he reflected on fondly. His affinity for German culture carried on and in his later years received the tender title of “Opa” from his family.

On December 4, 1954 Karl married his “Liebchen,” Sylvia Louise Rainwater in England where he was serving in the military during the Korean war. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple.

Karl’s professional life consisted of 35 years with the Salt Lake City School District where he worked as an educator and counselor. After early retirement he spent another 25 years working with troubled youth at IHC. He also served 64 years at the University of Utah in guest services and worked faithfully in the Salt Lake Temple as an assigned greeter – the perfect assignment for someone who loved meeting and talking to people.

Karl was a living example of Christ’s teachings. He was kind-hearted, hardworking, and humble. His family will miss him and mourn the loss of this great man.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife Sylvia Rainwater Ryser, brother James and four sisters: Lucille, Berniece Stewart, Pauline Graham and Belle Strand. He is survived by his brother, Charles, his four children, Karl Schanz Ryser Jr. (Julie Featherstone), Kary Grant Ryser (Kaye Haslam), Cindy Ann Ryser Strong (Blake Strong), and Stephen R. Ryser (Erin Davis), fifteen grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and his beloved dog, “Porsche.”

A graveside service will be held Saturday, September 5th at Larkin Sunset Lawn for immediate family members only. In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite animal shelter in honor of Karl’s love for all “critters.”


Services Handled By

Larkin Sunset Lawn
2350 E 1300 S
Salt Lake City, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Sep 02, 2020

Personal Info


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Karl was an outstanding usher at the UofU. His great personality and big smile brightened up every room and he touched many hearts throughout his journey of working in guests services. Thoughts and prayers go out to the family!

Lisa Kelly Bouillon Sep 08, 2020

Herr Reiser was an inspiration during his tenure as the Deutsch Instructor at Highland High School. Countless students owe so much to his tireless efforts of instruction! Job well done!

Wolfgang Tuckett , SLC, UT, US Sep 08, 2020

I had Herr Ryser as my German instructor at Highland High School. I loved him. He always had a smile on his face and was extremely kind to a struggling German Student. What a wonderful man. I am sure he will be greatly missed.

Craig Cooley Sep 06, 2020

I worked with Karl quite a few times at Kingsbury Hall theater. Always a joy to be around him. My condences to the Family.

Lynn Buchanan , Cottonwood Heights, UT, US Sep 02, 2020