Jane Ryan

Jane Ryan

CHESTERTON, Ind. — Jane Michelle Ryan, 66, died peacefully in her sleep at home Wednesday morning, May 8, 2019, after a long illness.

She was born Aug.15, 1952, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., a daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Paul Ledford Ryan and Madeline Elizabeth Stone Ryan, who preceded her in death.

Lt. Colonel Ryan’s military career as an investigator in the Office of Special Investigation took Jane and the rest of her family to live in various locations around the world, including three years at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tokyo, Japan, followed by several years at Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Mass. When her father retired from the military, he continued his service with the Office of Special Investigation as a civilian when he moved his family to Rantoul.

Jane was 11 years old when her family moved to Rantoul. She attended junior high in Rantoul, where she was chosen as a member of the National Honor Society. She went on to graduate from Rantoul Township High School in 1970. She later received an associate degree in nursing from Parkland College in Champaign, with membership in the Alpha Omega honorary society and became a licensed registered nurse. In 1980, she received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois in exercise physiology with a minor in psychology, graduating with high honors, receiving the Carita Robertson Award and the Verdell Frazier Young Award. She received her master of arts in biology from Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., where she received life membership in the Phi Kappa Phi honorary society and later pursued a doctorate in zoology from Washington State University in Pullman, Wash.

She practiced nursing as an operating room nurse in the private hospital sector and later at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, with a specialty in open-heart and transplant retrieval. At the University of Cincinnati Hospital, she was the surgical head nurse of open-heart surgery. She later taught anatomy to nursing students at Humboldt State University, the position she held most dearly.

After retiring from her career in medicine and the sciences, she pursued her love of art, where she received her Certificate in Ceramics from Butte College in Chico, Calif., becoming an accomplished ceramicist.

While in school, she was a competitive swimmer and a lifeguard during the summer months. While going to school on the east coast, she was an excellent fast-pitch softball pitcher. With her love of softball, she played as an adult in recreational leagues for 15 years. While attending Butte College, she was on the women’s golf team, playing competitive golf across the state of California with other community college golf teams. After moving to California, she enjoyed windsurfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, camping and backpacking. Jane was an avid gardener and utilized her artistic ability in creating wonderful landscapes. She enjoyed remodeling the homes she lived in and was an active participant in Women Build, an arm of Habitat for Humanity.

She is survived by her loving partner of 41 years, Brenda Aden of Chesterton, Ind.; brother, John Michael Ryan, and his wife, Lorellyn Ryan, of Nashville, Tenn.; and sister, Katherine Ryan Auble, and her husband, Thomas Auble, of Pagosa Springs, Colo.

Arrangements are being made by Moeller Funeral Home, Valparaiso, Ind., with a memorial service to be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Valparaiso, on July 20, 2019, at 11 a.m. Arrangements for a memorial service will be held at Faith Lutheran Church, Chico, Calif., on June 22, 2019, at 11 a.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association.