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Jonathan Rytych

His funeral will be at 10:30 on Fri., Dec. 16, 2022, at the Evangelical Free Church in Geneva. Burial will be in the Bennington, Kansas cemetery at 11:30 on Sat., Dec. 17, 2022.

Memorials are suggested to his children's post-high school education in lieu of flowers.


Jonathan William Rytych, born March 30, 1978, passed away on Nov. 16, 2022, at the age of 44. He was the older of two children of Donald D. Rytych and Shirley J. (Neaderhiser) Rytych.

Jonathan "walked to his own drumbeat" and spoke his mind. Even at 2, he left his parents at the curb to go to a door to get Halloween treats. When two fully grown high school boys, in scary costumes, pushed in front of him at the door, he surprised everyone by saying, "I was here first. You get behind me!" He kept a wary eye on them, but he got his candy first - in front!

Jonathan was well-traveled throughout childhood, going to almost all of the states. An outdoorsman at heart, he enjoyed hiking the trails and camping in many national parks and monuments, as well as visiting famous places in cities. Very curious, he surprised many guides with his numerous questions.

As a child, he had two speeds - wide open and asleep.He would create many "adventures" for himself and his brother, Tim, who was younger by 19 months. Hard work never bothered Jonathan, and he would convince Tim to join him...whether it was painting a fence, cutting down a tree, digging a basement in the backyard for an imagined "fast food restaurant," or "whatever." When told they couldn't have a saw to cut down a tree over a foot in diameter in the backyard, Jonathan and Tim chipped away over several weeks, by using a screwdriver and a hammer. Persistence won. When over half through, the tree came down with a small tug from the pickup.

Jonathan enjoyed many activities. With a natural ability, he loved playing golf. In high school, he pushed to get a golf team started in Shickley, after he was unsuccessful in joining another school's team.

Even as a young boy, it was amazing how Jonathan could catch fish! When he was 8, he stood on the bank of a lake, catching fish not far from two older frustrated fishermen, who were not catching anything. After he obliged them by changing a variety of positions and bait with them, he still caught the fish...not them.

This past summer, when Michael, Kylee and Logan came to visit from Canada, he delighted in taking them fishing, although he proudly complained, with tongue in cheek, that he was too busy taking the fish off of Kylee's hook to actually do any fishing himself. Upon returning late at night, although he was exhausted due to his health issues, he always completed the task of cleaning the fish with them, by the light of flashlights, so the kids learned how to do the necessary "last part of the fun!"

There are many fishing memories through the years, including when Kylee, at one and a half years old, was playing at the edge of the dock during a family fishing trip at Grandpa's pond and abruptly fell into the mirky water. Jonathan quickly scooped her out by her diaper, and that was the end of the fishing that day! Of course, there was the summer that Michael caught a "Jonathan" fish, hooking Jonathan under his eye with the fishing hook.

Jonathan accepted Christ as his Savior at five. He showed mature discernment at a young age with the Bible. He recently commented, "You don't think that I think about God. I'll let you know I think about Him every day!"

He enjoyed going to Bible camps near Long Pine, Nebraska, and in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. He was a camp counselor for a couple of years.The times in Canada doubled as an opportunity to see his best friend from childhood, Darren Holland.

He received his GED the last day of school of his junior year. He attended Grace College of the Bible. He later went to Miller Bible College, in Pambrun, Saskatchewan, Canada, where he met his future wife, Sherry "Crystal" Hildebrand.

After marrying in Winnipeg, Canada on March 27, 1999, they made their home briefly in Nebraska, before moving to Salina, Kansas, where their first son, Michael, was born in 2001. Jonathan enjoyed working as a landscaper there and would proudly point to some yard work he created.

He had an artistic eye for quality products and arrangements, whether landscaping or picking out superior materials. More recently, due to his failing health (on kidney dialysis, with heart and other health issues.), he was searching the Internet for possible ways to use his creative talents with wood.

In 2003, they moved to a farm near Bennington, Ks., where a daughter, Kylee, joined the family. Some of his happiest days were spent there. Their house was situated on a high hill that had a relaxing scenic view of the Solomon River valley. He enjoyed hunting and fishing along the twisting river. His Grandpa Quinn's farm was on the other side of the river from where they lived.

They then moved to Shickley, NE, where his younger son, Logan, was born, in 2007. While his family stayed here, he began welding in many Great Plains states - from Texas to Montana.

He was proud to be a high - quality welder. He never took welding at any school, but he had the ability to get the old, highly experienced welders to divulge and teach him their "secrets." Often he would skip the noon hour break to practice a weld, so that when they returned, he could benefit from their critiques. After many years of this, he would amaze many with his ability to weld objects that they said "couldn't be welded." After applying strength tests that proved he had done it, other welders would be astonished. However, he had been taught by the best!

Separated in 2010, and later divorced, his children moved to New Bothwell, Manitoba, Canada - near Winnipeg. However, they returned for 2 - 4 weeks every summer (until covid), to wherever he was working. He always looked forward with great expectation to the arrival of Michael, Kylee, and Logan.

Logan remembers going to a rodeo with Jonathan, as Jonathan enjoyed rodeos. When Jonathan was 9, he rode a buffalo robe behind a galloping horse around the Fort Robinson arena. The cowboy pulling him, seeing the attitude in his strut to get on the robe, rode his horse much faster than with other kids, leaving him literally covered in dirt, making the whites of his eyes more outstanding. Jonathan thought it was great!

When 19, Jonathan rode a few bulls at rodeos, liking the high adrenaline charge. The last time he was bucked off, the charging bull suddenly screeched to a halt only a foot from his face. Locking stares, the bull suddenly looked spooked, turned, and ran away. His parents are convinced the bull was scared by an angel standing in front, because Jonathan said he thought he was a "goner, for sure!"

Survivors include his parents; children Michael (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Kylee and Logan (New Bothwell, Manitoba); brother, Tim (Rachael) and their children Hunter, Ella, and Easton (Omaha); paternal uncle and aunt, Willard and Sharon Whaley (Banning, CA); paternal cousins: Kirk & Cindy West, (Little Rock, AK), Terry Whaley (Houston, TX); Matt & Traci Patino, (Redlands, CA); maternal cousins: Dr. Stephen Neaderhiser (Canton, OH), Nathan & Laura Kendrick (Smolan, KS), Sam & Jenna Weaver (Whiteman AFB, MO); and several other cousins.

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