Joseph Daniel Ryan
Joseph “Joe” Ryan, beloved husband, father, uncle, friend and Marine, died peacefully Feb. 26, 2019, in Denver, at the age of 89.
Joe was born Aug. 15, 1929, in Seattle, Washington and was one of 11 children. Shortly after high school, Joe enlisted in the Marine Corps. While at Camp Pendleton, he received advanced training as a machine-gunner and in May 1951 was sent to Korea with G Company, 3rd battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Joe served with distinction in many battles including Mousetrap Campaign, Battle of Kagae Pass, Punchbowl Offensive and the battle of “Frozen” Chosin Reservoir. During his two years of combat in Korea, Joe was severely injured three times and was finally sent back to the U.S. where he was hospitalized for eight months. He received the Navy/Marine medal and three purple hearts and separated from the Marine Corps after seven years of service.
After his time in the Marines, Joe attended Cal Berkeley graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. With his background in business and study of geology he pursued a career in oil and gas exploration, serving as an executive in several corporations. He lived abroad and traveled throughout the world including many countries in the Middle East. During retirement Joe continued to work in private petroleum exploration in the U.S.
Joe moved to Denver, in the mid 1970s. It was there that he met JoAnn at Dome Petroleum. During the Christmas blizzard of 1982, Joe and JoAnn were married on New Year’s Day, 1983.
Joe was a man of service to his country and community which was exemplified in many ways. He served on several commissions for the City of Greenwood Village including director of Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority and was appointed by the governor to the state water board. He was also a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee at the Centennial Airport.
His love for the Marine Corps never ended. Throughout his life he was a mentor to young marines and was a contributing member of Coopers Troopers a Denver based combat Marine association. He was the national director for the 1st Marine Division Association where he was recognized as Marine of the Year in 2004 and was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. He was also on the honor guard at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
Joe was an athlete, outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. He raced in over seven marathons, including one when he was 65 years old! He loved being in the Colorado mountains hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, skiing and climbing which he did into his early 80s. He was an active member of the Colorado Mountain Club and the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. On his 70th birthday he went skydiving in Montana and several years later, summited Mount Rainier. He climbed multiple Colorado 14ers and for his 78th birthday completed a technical climb of Mt. Baker in Washington State.
Joe is survived by his wife of 36 years, JoAnn, daughters Michelle and Patty, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He will be missed by so many family and friends who dearly loved this great man. His funeral will be at Augustana Lutheran Church in Denver, Thursday, March 14, at 10 a.m. followed by a procession to his interment at Fort Logan National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the 1st Marine Division Association Scholarship Fund (1stmardivassocscholarshipfund.sitemodify.com/about).
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |