The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Mainstreet Church is going to miss 37-year-old Millbury resident Ryan Lance Walters.

Walters became the third family member to pass away as a result of injuries suffered when a tornado destroyed his home near midnight on June 5. The four members of the Walters family attended Mainstreet Church, which has two Walbridge campuses.

According to news reports, Ryan’s wife Mary and five-year-old son Hayden Walters had gone to bed before the tornado hit. Both were killed before extended family members could warn them. Ryan, initially hospitalized, passed away June 13 at St. Vincent-Mercy Medical Center surrounded by his family.

“I knew them very well,” said Mainstreet Church pastor Marty Pennington. “Both Ryan and Mary were very active in our church. Mary served in our nursery ministries, Ryan was an IT (information technology) guy by training, and he helped manage our IT systems here at the church as a volunteer.”

When Mary and Hayden passed away, Pastor Pennington posted this Bible verse on the church’s website, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” from 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

When Ryan passed, Pastor Pennington posted, “Ryan will be greatly missed by all of us. Please continue to pray for their daughter, Madison, who is recovering from injuries.”

Funeral services were June 18 in Cedar Creek Church with Pastor Pennington officiating.

The only immediate family who survived is Ryan and Mary’s 9-year-old daughter Madison. Madison recovered from injuries and has been discharged from St. Vincent’s. Pastor Pennington says she is staying with relatives.

Ryan and Mary (DeFriece) married on August 10, 1996. A Bellevue native, Mary was employed for Children’s Discovery Center as an administrative assistant. She attended the University of Toledo and obtained her Associates Degree in Gerontology Social work.

Ryan Walters was born in Toledo on December 12, 1972 to Robert and Barbara (Pool ) Walters Sr.

Ryan was employed with Hospice of Northwest Ohio as their Director of IT. Ryan would have received his Bachelor of Arts in Management and Organizational Development. Ryan loved running 5K and 10K races with his son Hayden joining him near the finish line.

Ryan is survived by daughter Madison; mother Barbara Walters; siblings Robert (Carol Wilde) Walters Jr., Robin (Chris) Arquette, and Rachel (Damian) Gerwin; grandmother Margaret Walters; mother-in-law Dolores DeFriece; brother-in-laws Daniel (Jennifer) DeFriece and Chad (Ambre) DeFriece; sister-in-law Amy (Craig) Sigler; nieces and nephews Kyle Walters, Summer Walters and Adien Gerwin; along with nine other nieces and nephews and best friend Scott (Kristi) Gibson.

Ryan was preceded in death by his father Robert Walters Sr. and father-in-law Delmos DeFriece.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider The Ryan and Mary Walters Scholarship Fund for Madison Walters at Fifth Third Bank. Online condolences may be made at




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