Joseph Harry Ryan, age 87, passed away on 12/21/2019 at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington.
A 1950 graduate of Salesianum, Joe earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware. Upon graduation, he married Ruthann Sutton, the woman who first captured his heart at a Halloween dance when they were both 15 years old. After marrying, Joe enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, became a jet fighter pilot and took Ruthann on a four-year adventure from FL to TX, and CA. Returning to Wilmington in 1959, Joe began his career as an engineer for the DuPont Company, but continued as a Marine Reserve pilot and later a helicopter pilot with the Delaware National Guard ending his flying career in 1982.
As an engineer, Joe worked on projects ranging from textiles to nuclear power, retiring in 1993 only to return as a contractor until 2001. He valued the friendships and the opportunity to help young engineers learn their trade.
Joe was a member of St. Ann’s parish in Wilmington and donated his time as a substitute teacher. He served on the Diocesan Building Committee and was the Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Catholic Ministry to the Elderly.
More than anything, he enjoyed time with Ruthann. They walked together, watched the moon rise and found joy in their daily commitment to each other. Ruthann was the center of Joe’s world.
Joe was preceded in death by his father, Harry; his mother, Darius; sister, Jean Tancredi, and his son, Timothy. Left to treasure his memory are his loving wife, Ruthann and sister, Elizabeth (Betty) Balentine of Wilmington; his daughter, Carolee of Palm Coast FL.; sons, Harry (Jean) of Wilmington and Christopher of Lewes; eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Relatives and Friends are invited to call at Krienen Griffith Funeral Home, 1400 Kirkwood Hwy. Wilmington, 19805 from 10am- 11am on Friday, December 27th and a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Ann R.C. Church, 2013 Gilpin Avenue, Wilmington, 19806 at 11:30 am. Interment will follow at St. Joseph on the Brandywine, 10 Old Church Rd, Wilmington, 19807.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.act.alz.org.