His gregarious nature, Irish accent and stubborn persistence made Michael Ryan the perfect closer.
Ryan, 55, left Ireland in 1981 and became a successful stockbroker in Kentucky, where he helped found one of Lexington's first locally owned investment firms.
He did it with one of those personalities that filled up a room, said Kathy Ryan, his wife of nearly 14 years.
After meeting in the Lexington office building they shared in 1990, Michael asked Kathy to lunch.
"I knew I was in trouble when he ordered me a glass of wine," she said. And, of course, "he had that Irish rogue thing going."
The oldest son among eight children in an Irish Catholic family, Michael "loved being on stage" -- first as a drummer in a '70s Irish rock band, and most recently teaching investment seminars around the country.
Although he traveled weekly, Kathy Ryan said Michael treasured spending time with their two children, Kaitlyn, 12, and Colton, 11.
In May, however, Michael was forced to take a break in his grueling travel schedule after undergoing a triple coronary bypass. Still, he missed only six weeks of work before he had "bounced back," Kathy Ryan said.
"I thought I had dodged a bullet," she added.
Michael had been scheduled to fly to Sacramento Saturday night, but his flight was canceled. So he accompanied Kathy to Picnic with the Pops that evening, where they danced all evening.
"Thank God he gave me that kind of an ending," Kathy said.