Ryan Boyd

Ryan Boyd

Funeral Director/Deputy Coroner, Bittner Funeral Chapel
Mitchell, SD
Psychology, 2015

"Some of the best memories of my life were made during my time at USD. I can only attribute this to my involvement with different organizations on campus. People make the difference! Get involved in several organizations and get to know the people in them. The connections you make will last a lifetime."

Q&A with Ryan:

Describe your current educational or professional pursuits.

After receiving my Bachelor of Science degree from USD, I attended school for mortuary science in Des Moines. I worked as a funeral director and embalmer for a year in Rapid City before moving to my hometown of Mitchell. I started working with Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell as a funeral director and embalmer. I am proud to serve families in the community I grew up in, oftentimes working with families I have personal relationships with. In January 2018, I was sworn into the office of Deputy County Coroner for Davison and Hanson County. Most recently, I received my South Dakota Life Insurance Producer License, enabling me to sell preneed funeral policies. I also serve as the secretary and treasurer for my district of the South Dakota Funeral Directors Association.

I am always honing my skills as a professional through continuing education. I have received training through the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation for coroner duties and death investigations. I consider myself a public servant and hope that I can help make the community I care about a safer place to live. I also receive continuing education for my funeral director/embalmer license as well as my life insurance license. Every day is a new challenge and learning experience for me. I am always in the pursuit of how to better serve families during their time of grief. I have always had a passion for helping people when they need it the most. Working as a funeral director allows me to use my gifts and talents to serve people.

How did your USD experience influence your career path?

I use the education I received at USD daily. I earned a psychology degree with an entrepreneurial studies minor. I fulfilled all the courses I needed as prerequisites for mortuary science school as well as state requirements for my funeral director and embalmer license. My education gave me the tools I needed to become a young professional. Whether it’s the grief cycle I studied in psychology, the division of an estate I studied in business law or the human body I studied in anatomy, I am constantly relying on my education. Beyond education, the connections I made with the students, staff, and alumni have helped every step of the way.

Tell us about your proudest achievement.

My proudest achievement cannot be singled out into one event or recognition. I have been honored to be named Junior of the Year by my peers at SAE, Outstanding First Year Member of the Mitchell Lions Club and received 1st place at the Wire Me Awake competition at USD. However, the thing that makes me most proud is the ability to work with families when they need it most. People entrust me with taking care of their loved ones, and that is what I am most humbled by. This sacred profession has opened my eyes and my heart to much more than I could have imagined.

What was your USD experience like? Were you involved in any campus organizations or activities?

I am proud to be a multi-generational Coyote, starting with my grandparents attending the university in the 1950s. From the time I stepped foot on campus freshman year to my graduation day, USD proved to be a fun and meaningful educational experience. I was heavily involved with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and held many positions within the organization including house manager, music director, risk manager, chaplain and Strollers director. I was also involved in Dance Marathon, served on the Inter-Fraternal Council and sang in the Concert Choir.

My favorite part of my experience at USD was the hundreds of lifelong friends I made during those four years. It’s honestly hard to go anywhere in South Dakota without running into someone I met at school.

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