Cover photo for Karin K. Ryder's Obituary
Karin K. Ryder Profile Photo

Karin K. Ryder

December 2, 1940 — March 13, 2023


Karin K. Ryder

Karin K. Ryder (nee Krienen), 82, of Saginaw, Michigan said goodbye peacefully on March 13, 2023 surrounded by her loved ones in the Birmingham home of her son, Jim, and son-in-law, Frank.  Karin is predeceased by her siblings: Hans (Brigitte) Krienen, Peter Krienen and baby sister Marlena Krienen as well as her parents.

Described as “awesome” by one of her granddaughters, Karin was indeed awesome.  Karin was an awesome Mom, Grandmother and Great-Grand Mother.  She was an awesome Teacher, Volunteer and Friend to all who knew her.  Now, Karin is an awesome Angel with her grandson Jordan welcoming her into Heaven.

Formerly married to the late Don P. Ryder, they raised five children, Randy (Fernando Lau) Ryder, Donna Payne, Judy Neumann, James (Frank Colasonti, Jr.) Ryder, and Roger (Amy) Ryder.   The joy in her life grew exponentially as she welcomed her ten Grandchildren, Bradley (Jessica) Ryder, Lauren (Timothy) Goff, Andrew Payne, Jason (Tiffany) Payne, Cole (Deanna Granning) Payne, Emilee (Michael Leskoviansky) Neumann, Joshua Neumann, Bethany (Wayne Domenick) Ryder, Morgan (Jordan) Gerard and the late Jordan (Elizabeth Snyder) Ryder, and her four Great-Grandchildren Kate Ryder, Adaline Goff, Evan Payne, and Izzy Snyder-Blake.

Karin was born in the town of Kaufbeuren, Germany during World War II.  She lived in a war-torn post-World War II Germany until the age of 12.  Her late father, Heinrich Krienen, having served in the German Air Force as a navigator, was taken prisoner by the Russians and died in a POW camp in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1946, leaving her late mother Emilie a widow raising three children by herself.  Emilie Krienen, who later married Mathias Joerke, sent her young daughter Karin to America in search of a better life.

So, at the age of 12, speaking only German, courageous Karin came to America by herself to be raised by dear friends of her mother, the late Arthur and Josephine “Finny” Barclay, of Custer, Michigan, who raised Karin as their own child.  Karin was a quick study and learned with ease her second language, English.  Karin graduated from the Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw.  After busily raising five children in Saginaw, Michigan, she finally went back to school to realize her dream of becoming a grade school teacher.  At 42, Karin graduated in 1982 from Saginaw Valley State College Summa Cum Laude the same year along with her son Randy and daughter Donna.

Karin started her teaching career as a substitute teacher at a local Lutheran School.  She then went on to be hired by Reese Public Schools.  For more than 20 years, Karin demonstrated her love of teaching as a third-grade teacher at Reese Elementary School. She mentored student teachers and inspired her teaching partners and staff alike, was a shining example for parents, and nurtured and supported her students with love and affection.  At Reese Elementary School, she made lifelong friends. 

Karin retired from Reese Elementary School when diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was given a few months to live by doctors.  However, being the strong German she was, Karin fooled the doctors and thrived over 20 years more! She spent her years as a volunteer at the Covenant Hospital Gift Shop and Cancer Center where she shared her story with cancer patients and encouraged hope. 

Karin kept busy tending to her pride and joy, her home and her beautiful flower gardens landscaping her home.  Karin became an active member with the Saginaw Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation, studying The Bible and enjoying the fellowship of her brothers and sisters.  Always compassionate, Karin cared for her dear companion, the late Adam “Curly” Erndt. 

The awesome Karin will be remembered as fiercely independent, outgoing and graceful with unbreakable family and friendship ties.  Her family, friends and former students will forever remember the love, kindness and support that she gave us.  Karin loved us as we did her.  We are grateful that she is now at peace and watching over us.

It would be impossible to name all of Karin’s amazing friends individually, but Karin would want her family to thank a handful of extraordinary friends who brought her great joy: Lynn Rocha, Nancy “Nan” and David Stout-Purkis, Jan Gallagher, Jane Hillborg, Pepi Jones of Kaufbeuren, Germany and the members of The Friends of Reese Elementary.

The family would like to make special mention of our gratitude to Karin’s long time Health Care professionals who helped her to live a quality life:  the late Dr. Ernie Balcueva, RN Leeann Balcueva, Dr. Carlotta Maresca, Dr. John Johnson and Dr. Umesh Badami.  Our gratitude also extends to the team from Hospice of Michigan who brought Karin compassionate care in her final days: Nurses Annemarie, Beth, Carolyn, Lori, Social Worker Debbie and Spiritual Support Rachael.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to any of the following nonprofits:

Hospice of Michigan, 989 Spaulding Avenue, Ada, MI 49301      

Online: .

American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 10069, Detroit, MI 48210    


American Parkinson Disease Association, P.O. Box 61420, Staten Island, NY 10396


Or your favorite nonprofit.

The Spring Celebration of Karin’s Awesome Legacy will be:  Saturday, May 13, 2023 from 1:00 pm – 6 pm with the Memorial Service at 5:00 pm.  It will be at W.L. Case Funeral Home, 4480 Mackinaw Road, Saginaw, MI 48603. (989) 793-9700. Email:

Karin’s ashes will be scattered by her family among the trillium flowers by the tunnel of trees in Harbor Springs, Michigan.


Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 13, 2023

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, May 13, 2023

5:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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