(Houston) - Michael "Matt Patrick" Ryan passed away Sunday afternoon, less than a week after informing listeners to his morning show on KTRH in Houston that he was ending treatment for esophageal cancer.
Matt, who was 58 years old, was the longtime morning host on Akron's WKDD, then reinvented himself as a talk host, first with Akron's WHLO. He did some fill-in work with WTAM 1100, then after working at a station in South Bend, Indiana, Matt was hired six years ago as morning host at KTRH in Houston.
Last Wednesday, Matt and his wife Paula announced to listeners on KTRH that he would end his cancer treatment, and leave the situation in God's hands.
This statement was issued by Matt's family:
Michael “Matt” Patrick Ryan, 58, passed away peacefully on July 9, 2017 in Katy, Texas, after a courageous 2 year battle with cancer. He was born December 17, 1958, in Cleveland, Ohio, to John “Jack” Ryan and Marie (Vince) Ryan (Drummond). He was a 1977 graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended John Carroll University earning his Bachelors Degree in psychology. He married the love of his life Paula (Parker) Ryan on June 15, 2002, and they made Hudson, Ohio their home for many years before moving to Houston, Texas in 2011.
Michael was an incredibly talented, beloved, and successful radio personality and talk show host for nearly 40 years, known on-air as “Matt Patrick” primarily in Akron and Cleveland, Ohio (Clear Channel Communications), Indiana (Federated Media), and Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas (iHeart Media). He was a two-time Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee. Starting out as a rough-around-the-edges 22 year old DJ in 1980, Michael honed his craft working passionately at the helm of the #1 morning radio show in Akron, Ohio, on WKDD, for almost 30 years, reinventing the way radio was done. Also during this time, he devoted his heart and soul to raising millions of dollars for Akron Children’s Hospital as a founder and original host of the ‘Have A Heart, Do Your Part Radiothon'. In November 2005, Michael achieved sobriety, one day at a time, and had helped countless others who struggled with addiction and alcoholism for the past decade. In 2008, The Matt Patrick Show was launched on WHLO in Akron. Michael later had the pleasure of moving his show to WLW in Cincinnati, and WTAM in Cleveland. Michael approached talk radio in an innovative and personal way, easily connecting with his listeners who often said they felt like he was part of their family. After moving to Houston, Texas in 2011, Michael brought his quick wit, brilliant sense of humor, and second-to-none work ethic to the major-market airwaves as the host of Houston’s Morning News on News Radio 740 am KTRH, and also brought his long-form syndicated talk show, The Matt Patrick Show, from Cleveland to Texas soon after. Michael regularly appeared on the Houston KRIV-FOX 26 Television debate segment “FOX Face-Off” and as a guest commentator on FOX Business Television’s national program “Lou Dobbs Tonight”.
Michael’s true passion in life was not behind a microphone, but rather being quietly at home with his family was most important. He truly lived life to the fullest through simple pleasures such as taking his 12-year-old son Jake on annual father/son cabin trips, going anywhere that had a lake or an ocean to watch the sunrise, watching football every Sunday, and starting almost every day in the hot tub to pray. He loved to make people laugh with his unique and entertaining way with words. Michael had a very special ability to reach people in a deeply personal way, especially after being diagnosed with Stage IV mucosal melanoma on September 11, 2015, when he decided to openly share details of his fight against cancer publicly at every step of the way. True to his indomitable spirit, he insisted on broadcasting to his audience one last time to say goodbye less than a week ago, although he was extremely ill.
He is survived by his best friend and wife of 15 years, Paula, and their dear son, Jake; beloved daughters, Alexandra Ryan and Alanna Ryan; mother Marie and step-father John Drummond, sisters Maureen Shell and Colleen Ryan Neubauer, aunts Patricia Vince and Kathleen (Jim) Henderson, uncle Thomas Vince, father and mother-in-law John and Cindy Parker, sister-in-law Dawn Parker, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. At Michael’s request, a memorial service will be held in Houston, Texas, followed by a private family service and burial in Ohio.
The Ryan Family would like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation for the many friends, listeners, coworkers, and those whom we have never met, from all over the country, for your prayers, kind words, and offers to help during this difficult time. God Bless you and thank you to our dear friends at the City of Fulshear for your steadfast protection, your true compassion, and tireless assistance to our family. Thank you to Houston iHeart Media President, Eddie Martiny, for your unwavering support, guidance, and friendship to Michael after you called him to major market radio and changed his career and life for the better. We would also like to extend a very special thank you to our dear friend Chris Hagerman, of MD Anderson, who has become family to us, provided countless hours of support, and was like a brother to Michael. #SandboxStrong
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
(Photo courtesy KTRH)