Alton, IL


Mary Ellen (Ryan) Fredrick

Mary Ellen (Ryan) Fredrick died Saturday, May 12, 2018 in Jerseyville, IL, following a one-year illness.

She was born December 6, 1954, in Louisville, KY., the daughter of the late John M. and Rita (Tracy) Ryan. She graduated from Marquette High School in 1973; SIU- Carbondale in 1977; and received her Master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University in 1979. During her career as a clinical dietitian, she made lasting friendships at a variety of local hospitals and facilities, including St. Joseph’s Hospital in Alton, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Granite City, and Jersey Community Hospital in Jerseyville. For the past 20 years, she worked as a dietitian and eventually health coordinator at Riverbend Head Start & Family Services in Alton.

On December 31, 1988, she married Steven Fredrick. They later divorced, but remained good friends.

Ellen was diagnosed with brain cancer in May 2017. Despite a dismal prognosis, she remained upbeat, never losing her sense of humor. Her main concern was the well-being of her daughters. She was determined to live her life “one day at a time”.

She is survived by two daughters, Meagan (Robert) Wilkerson, of Colorado Springs, CO, and Maura Fredrick of Godfrey; a step-daughter, Emily Eckelkamp of O’Fallon, MO; two sisters, Tracy Howard of Godfrey and Maureen Ryan (Jeff Johnson) of Alton; four brothers, James Ryan (Lucy Chappee) and Michael (Sally) Ryan of Alton, Paul (Gwyn) Ryan of Memphis, TN, and William (Ellen) Ryan of St. Simon’s Island, GA; as well as several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her four-legged companion of 15 years, Freckles.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother-in-law, Philip Howard.

Ellen designated that her body be donated to St. Louis University for medical research.

A visitation will be held at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church, where Ellen was a life-long member, on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 4-8 pm, with a memorial service following on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 10 a.m.

The family has requested that memorials be made to Riverbend Head Start & Family Services in Alton.

Gent Funeral Home in Alton is in charge of arrangements. Online guestbook and information may be found at


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