Joan Katherine Ryan(1940 - 2019)

Joan Katherine Ryan (nee Stoeckle) died peacefully at Crescent Point at Niantic on March 14, 2019, in Niantic, Conn., at the age of 78. She was the daughter of the late Rudolf Stoeckle and Lenchen Charlotte Stoeckle (nee Scheibner) of Greenwich, Conn.
Joan is survived by her husband, George E. Ryan of Old Lyme, Conn., and her brother, Robert Stoeckle of Walden, N.Y. Joan was predeceased by her sister, Heidy Urso of Bonita Springs, Fla. She is also survived by her nieces, Joan Heidy McGovern of Peabody, Mass., and Tina Urso of Seattle, Wash., and her nephew, David Urso of Quechee, Vt.
Joan was born on March 28, 1940, in New York City, N.Y. She graduated from Greenwich High School, Conn., in 1958 and attended Wittenberg University, receiving her bachelor of science degree in education in 1962. She taught vocal music and English in Urbana and Springfield, Ohio, elementary schools from 1962 to 1969.
In 1969, Joan moved to Colorado, teaching in Jefferson County Public Schools until her retirement in June 2000. She taught English Language Arts and vocal music at West Jefferson Elementary/Junior High School in Conifer, Colo., from 1970 to 1979. From 1979 to 2000, Joan taught English Language Arts, journalism, speech, drama and vocal music at Everitt Junior High School/Middle School in Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Joan continued her studies, receiving her master of arts in curriculum and instruction at the University of Denver in 1989 plus an additional 30 semester hours in English, education and music from the University of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Phoenix.
While Joan took her teaching career seriously, she enjoyed her R&R in Idaho Springs, Colo., and had an A-Frame cabin built on the "Ace of Diamonds" Gold Mining Claim. There she relaxed, read, studied and enjoyed the "quiet life."
Joan was an adventurous outdoorswoman doing cross country skiing, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Champagne breakfast cookouts on the Lombard Mining Claims with the Loevlie family and Bob Metzler and four-wheeling in her 1988 Ford Bronco II were favorite times!
Joan was very active in and generous to the Idaho Springs Historical Society. From 1994 to 2013, the annual "Fall Ball" was a tradition for her.
In 2000, Joan began five years of study and lab work in Denver and New York City to become a certified GIA Graduate Gemologist, receiving her diploma in October 2005.
Joan met her husband, George, while on vacation in Scotland in September 2000. They were married on Aug. 15, 2001, in Littleton, Colo., and moved to Old Lyme, Conn., on Nov. 24, 2001.
Joan was an accomplished pianist and vocalist, and sang with the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme Senior Choir from 2003 to 2016. She was also a member of the Music and Arts Committee. Joan volunteered at the Lyme Tree Woman's Exchange, whose goal is to help members of the community achieve economic stability through consignment and sale of handcrafted items. She was an active board member from 2003 to 2015 and president for six of those years. She was president of the Federation of Woman's Exchanges from 2009 to 2012. Joan was an active member of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, volunteering on several community projects, her favorite of which was the Wee Faerie Village sponsored by the Florence Griswold Museum.
Joan entered the last phase of her life in Crescent Point's memory care facility on Aug. 15, 2017, as a result of late-term dementia – Alzheimer's Disease.
Joan's Memorial Garden interment will be followed by a memorial service on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at 1 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Conn., with a reception to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Joan Katherine Ryan's life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371.
A separate celebration of life for Joan is being planned for Idaho Springs, Colo., in July. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Historical Society of Idaho Springs, 2060 Miner St., Idaho Springs, CO 80452.
Published in Clear Creek Courant on May 8, 2019