Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and his staff are mourning the death of veteran investigator Mel Ryan, who passed away Wednesday morning (Feb. 26), four days shy of his 71st birthday.
Born Leonard Melvin Ryan II, the native New Orleanian devoted most of his life to serving public safety as a dedicated law enforcement professional.
The graduate of Warren Easton High School and Loyola University began a 33-year career with the Louisiana State Police in 1973. Ryan rose through the ranks to serve as Commander of Troop B from 1992-2000. Troop B serves six parishes around and including the metro New Orleans area and is the largest of the eight Louisiana State Police districts.
Ryan later was promoted to the rank of major, and served six more years leading state troopers. After retiring from the State Police, Ryan returned to law enforcement by serving as a criminal investigator in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office for the past 10 years.
“Mel’s death is deeply felt by his colleagues in this office,” Cannizzaro said. “He was a no-nonsense professional who set a high standard for our staff investigators to emulate. He was dedicated to public safety and as dependable as they come. Our prayers are with his family, for whom our entire office extends our deep condolences.”
Ryan is survived by his wife Beryl, his children Leonard “Lenny” Melvin Ryan III and Rhonda Ryan, and grandchildren Tyler and Kailey Ryan. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Ryan’s memory to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) or the American Kidney Fund (www.kidneyfund.org).
A wake for Ryan is scheduled for Tuesday (March 3) from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the E.J. Fielding Funeral Home (2260 W. 21st Ave., Covington). Visitation will resume at the same location on Wednesday (March 4) at 10 a.m., until funeral services begin there at 11 a.m. Internment will follow the services at the Lawrence Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery on East Cooper Road in Loranger.
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