Jane Ryan, 66, of Chesterton, Ind., formerly of Rantoul, died died Wednesday, May 8, 2019, after a long illness.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. June 22 at Faith Lutheran Church, Chico, Calif. A memorial service will also be held July 20 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Valparaiso, Ind.
Moeller Funeral Home, Valparaiso, is in charge of arrangements.
She was born Aug.15, 1952, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., a daughter of Lt. Col. Paul and Madeline Ryan.
She is survived by partner of 41 years, Brenda Aden of Chesterton, Ind.; a brother, John Ryan, (Lorellyn) of Nashville; and a sister, Katherine Ryan Auble (Thomas) of Pagosa Springs, Colo.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Her father’s military career as an investigator in the Office of Special Investigation took Ms. Ryan 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.
She 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 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 receiveda master of arts degree 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 dear.
After retiring from her career in medicine and the sciences, she pursued her love of art, where she received a 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. She played as an adult in recreational softball leagues for 15 years. While attending Butte College, she was on the women’s golf team, playing competitive golf across California with other community college golf teams. After moving to California, she enjoyed windsurfing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, camping and backpacking. She was an avid gardener and utilized her artistic ability in creating landscapes. She enjoyed remodeling the homes she lived in and was an active participant in Women Build, an arm of Habitat for Humanity.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association.