A Life Together, In Love Eternally
JoAnn Belle (Callender) Ryan, 83, of Grand Junction, Colorado, passed away peacefully at home on August 27th, 2023. JoAnn, “Jo”, was born on November 18th, 1939 in St. Joseph, Michigan. Her husband of 55+ years, Edward Michael Ryan Jr., 82, passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction on October 5th, 2023. Edward, “Ed” or “Ned”, was born on July 23rd, 1941 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Jo and Ed are survived by their sons, Shaun Ryan of Grand Junction and Kevin Ryan of Glen Ellyn, Illinois; their beloved daughter-in-law Lori Goldenhersh Ryan and their truly adored & loved granddaughters, Caroline Joanne and Amelia Mattea. JoAnn is survived by her sister Sandra “Sandy” Rosel (Alfred) of Hartford, Michigan, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends. She is preceded in death by her mother, Amelia Starbuck, her stepfather, Earl Starbuck, and her father, Milton Edward Callender. Ed is survived by his sister Patricia “Pat” Burns of Farmington Hills, Michigan, his brother William “Bill” (Dr. Phyllis Clark) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, his sister Denise of Bradley Beach New Jersey, his sister-in-law Louisa “Louie” of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and also many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends. He is preceded in death by his father, Edward M. Ryan Sr., his mother, Eileen (Morrissey) Ryan, his brother James “Jimmy” Ryan, his sister-in-law Kathy Ryan, his beloved nephew Matthew Ryan Burns, and his brother-in-law Gerald “Jerry” Burns, whom he loved as a true brother.
After graduating high school, JoAnn enrolled at the Holy Cross Central School of Nursing in South Bend Indiana, graduating with her diploma in Pediatric Nursing in 1962. From there she moved to Chicago, Illinois, working in various hospitals as a pediatrics registered nurse in the city, including Loyola Medical Center and Children’s Memorial Hospital, and later Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, IL. JoAnn was a proud nurse for over 40 years, and while she enjoyed all her work, she most loved working with and caring for children. Following her retirement in 2008, JoAnn continued to volunteer countless hours of her time at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, where she had worked for 14 years, and also served as a volunteer for the Grand Junction VFW Post #1247 Women’s Auxiliary for many years, donating her time to help veterans and those in need. JoAnn was a skilled and remarkable quilter, completing dozens of beautiful quilts over the years. She also enjoyed sewing, cooking holiday dinners for her family, and kept her mind active with word searches and Sudoku puzzles.
Edward graduated from St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in 1959, then headed out west to attend the College of Santa Fe, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1963. Following his graduation, Ned volunteered to enlist in the United States Army, where in 1964, following basic training, he enrolled in the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia. After being commissioned as an officer, Ed eventually became a First Lieutenant Airborne Infantry Officer, serving his county proudly until 1967. Ed worked as a Salesman and Office Manager for many years at Construction Specialties, based in Cranford, New Jersey, before transferring to Chicago in 1966. Ed instilled an obligation of service in his family, serving as Boy Scout Troop #191 Leader, the Commander of American Legion Post #76 (Wheaton, IL), and for many years as an honored non-member volunteer at the Grand Junction Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #1247. Ed celebrated his proud Irish roots every Saturday in the fall by watching the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame football team, and was also an avid Chicago Bears fan.
JoAnn and Ed met in 1967 on a blind date in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago, at Yak-Zies Bar & Grill (still there today). Although they were first on the date with another couple, it was soon apparent that they had a connection and swapped dates to begin their eternal love affair. They were married on June 29th, 1968 in Chicago, IL at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. After being transferred to Madison, Wisconsin for a short period, JoAnn and Ed returned to the Chicago area and bought a home in Carol Stream, Illinois, where they resided for over 20 years and raised their two sons until their big move out to western Colorado in the fall of 1994. They found peace and solace in Grand Junction, and the mountain air was just what they needed to explore and fall in love with the outdoors again. They took frequent trips, often with no destination in mind, traversing across mountain roads (some others might not deem passable!) to find hidden gems in the beauty of the western landscapes. They were a true couple, both in life and beyond, and are together forever in eternal life.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in JoAnn’s name to: Hope West Hospice Care 2754 Compass Dr. #377, Grand Junction, CO 81506
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Edward’s name to: The American Legion, Donation Processing, P.O. Box 1954 Indianapolis, IN 46206