Saying Goodbye to Kevin Ryan Clown

Photo of Kevin Ryan, clown

Kevin Ryan, clown, entertains a sick child.

It’s always sad when a fellow raccoon passes into the next world.

I’m sad to report that former Ringling clown Kevin Ryan recently passed away from complications of COVID.


A fellow alum of Ringling Clown College (although a different year than I) he was on the Blue Unit for two years, and after that he worked with other circuses and traveled as an advance clown for Ringling, entertaining thousands of kids with an educational reading show.

Kevin Ryan

Newspaper publicity shot for Kevin’s reading show with Ringling, courtesy of Ed Renfro

Kevin also worked as an instructor at Clown College Japan, and then spent at least one season at Disneyland Japan as a featured comic character. After his work as a clown, he created a second career in nursing, and continued to bring a smile and moments of joy to those who needed it most.

Kevin leaves behind his wife, Jackie, and two young grandchildren, Wyatt and Laylan.

Thinking good thoughts for Kevin and his friends and family.  I don’t yet have the obituary, but when it comes out I will post it here.  (And please, if you have a link to it, please add it in the comments below)

Thanks to the always excellent Steve Copeland for his article on and to Ed Renfro (a friend of Kevin’s) for providing some of the information and photos for this article.


Here’s a great video that Steve Copeland found of Kevin doing the Ringling Reading Program, and talking about one of his passions– getting kids to light up.

Rest In Peace, Kevin.


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