Gustave W. Rylander, Jr., died May 18, 2021, in Carlisle, PA, at the age of 95. Born June 7, 1925, in Ben Avon Heights, PA, he was the second of the three sons of the late Gustave W. Rylander, Sr., and Augusta Erk Rylander. His brothers, John F. Rylander and Edward E. Rylander, preceded him in death, as did his wife, Nancy Warren Rylander, his close friend, Miriam G. Bowman, and his great-grandchild, Evan W. Campbell.
Gus enlisted in the Army in 1943 at age 18. He served as an engineer in both the European and Pacific theaters. He rose quickly to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was awarded a Bronze Star. He wrote a letter to his parents every day during the war, assuring them that he was fine even when he was not.
Following his honorable discharge, he attended Allegheny College where he met the love of his life, Nancy Warren. In addition to his major in history, he was a halfback and kicker for the Gators' football team, earning the nickname "the Educated Toe." He worked at Allegheny as Alumni Secretary for five years following his and Nancy's graduation and marriage in 1949. In 2002, Gus received the prestigious Allegheny Alumni Award for "steadfast loyalty and many years of distinguished service" to the college.
Gus and Nancy were married for almost 50 years until her untimely death in 1997. True and devoted partners, they raised four children, cared for their parents in old age, and welcomed the arrival of grandchildren. They enjoyed raising dogs, taking bike trips in Europe, keeping up with old friends, and spending winters on Anna Maria Island. Gus and Nancy believed in justice and equal rights, and Gus was elated to have witnessed the election of the first woman vice-president.
Gus and Miriam Bowman, a fellow Alleghenian, shared 20 years of friendship following Nancy's death until Miriam passed away in 2019. The Meadville Unitarian Universalist Church, their college, the Pittsburgh Symphony, Anna Maria and Cape Cod were their passions.
Gus's educational achievements included a Master's in history from Duke, and his professional career took him from salesman to Executive Vice President at Armco Steel (now Cleveland-Cliffs), but he will be remembered most by all who knew him - family, friends, business associates - for his lifelong commitment to making others happy. He loved watching his family enjoy holidays and vacations. He loved grabbing the check at a restaurant and leaving a huge tip. He would spring into action at the drop of a hat when needed for a lift to the airport, help with a chore, or the concoction of a perfect dry martini. He was a true team player, a respecter of the rules, and a staunch believer in peace at all costs. He never had an enemy.
Gus's first loyalty was to his family, but his capacity for devotion extended to friends all over the country, to Allegheny College, to the Steelers and to Armco. He never deviated from his Canadian Club old fashioned nor from raw oysters when he could get them. He was the most intuitive and skilled driver imaginable, and he loved driving right up until a month before his death.
Gus leaves behind a grieving but grateful family: daughter Becky Kline and her husband Michael, daughter Jane Baker and her husband Denny, daughter Marty Andisik and her husband Don, son Gus and his wife Deirdre, grandson Gabriel Kline and his partner Anja Bartels, grandson Rob Kline, granddaughter Amy Campbell and her husband Greg, grandson Josh Verner and his wife Taylor, and six great-grandchildren: Stella Ro Rylander, Cara Campbell, Abby Campbell, Ella Verner, Alex Verner, and Valerie Verner. He will also be remembered with love by his brother-in-law David Warren and wife Lola, as well as by many nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed by his "second family," the Bowmans. A multitude of people touched by his extraordinary friendship will mourn him.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Nancy Warren Rylander scholarship fund at Allegheny College, to the Meadville Unitarian Universalist Church, to the Odyssey Clay Works Scholarship Fund or to the charity of your choice in his name. A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hoffman Funeral Home and Crematory, 2020 W. Trindle Rd., Carlisle, PA 17013.
To sign guest book please visit www.HoffmanFH.com.