Cover photo for Mabel "Mae" M. Ryan's Obituary
Mabel "Mae" M. Ryan Profile Photo

Mabel "Mae" M. Ryan

December 30, 1924 — November 10, 2023

Mabel "Mae" M. Ryan

Mae Ryan 1924-2023

Mae Ryan passed away in her home on Friday, November 10th, 2023 just a few weeks shy of 99 when that incredibly resilient body of hers finally gave out. She was born Mabel Miriam Fandel on December 30, 1924 in St Cloud, Minnesota and packed a full life of family, friends, travel, and bridge into her near century. She was active to the end, spending the last weekend before she passed at a high school play of one of her many great-grandchildren.

Mae ("don't call me Mabel!") was raised in St Cloud, the 2nd youngest daughter of a quarryman/boxcar builder/WPA worker and a harried mother who somehow managed to keep a family of 9 children together -- poor but together -- through the Great Depression. Graduating St Cloud Tech High School in that fateful December of 1941 Mae found various jobs after graduation and then with 3 high school friends of hers moved to Los Angeles to support the war effort, work and be young. Family lore has it that she later moved to Chicago and was a magazine model for the famous Marshall Fields department store there.

Eventually she found her way back to Minnesota and worked as a court recorder and a phone company operator back when one line had to be physically connected to another to complete a call. Her life changed at a dance in the summer of 1953 when she met a dashing young Air Force Lieutenant rescue helicopter pilot (think of the opening credits to M*A*S*H) recently returned from the Korean War named David Ryan who courted her for 3 months and married her on November 7, 1953.

Mae was now an Air Force wife, a life which she enjoyed (mostly) for the next 13 years. She was stationed first in Smyna, TN where she gave life to David and Nancy, then in Strasbourg, France where they added Constance, then in Macon, GA; Dayton, OH; Harrisburg, PA (where Steve arrived to complete the set) and finally to Sacramento, CA where those days came to an end with David's retirement from the USAF. Fulfilling a promise made when they married the family then moved back to Minnesota (West St Paul) to be close to Mae's family. This lasted almost 3 years before the family was then transferred to Omaha, NE for 4 years then to Littleton, CO in 1974 where Mae resided ever since. It was in Littleton where Mae was able to enjoy life as those pesky kids finally left home and she could live a little. Her passion became the game of bridge which she played with great skill. With those of her family who couldn't be bothered to learn the subtleties of bridge she would play other card games like Shanghai and Gin Rummy. She would win more often than not. Mentally sharp to the end she convincingly won games of both just a few days before her passing. She was blessed with good health though in 1996 she had surgery for breast cancer. (Her only complaint was that it made it harder to find a wardrobe.) Her taste was impeccable and she was always stylish in a conservative way. At the age of 70 she braved a Lake Powell vacation with much of her family where she was somehow able to be as stylish as Katherine Hepburn in the movie The African Queen throughout the 10 days. She was a great cook and a world traveler with her husband while in Europe, and then on many family trips all over the US in the 1960s with the family of four kids in the station wagon trying to be as annoying as possible while getting some other kid to be blamed for causing the trouble. Trips with her husband came to an end in 1994 with his passing. She will now join him for this final journey. She was ready for it though she was reluctant to leave behind friends (especially her bridge buddies) and family who dearly wish she could have stayed with us a while longer: Sons, David Ryan (wife Anita) and Steven Ryan. Daughters Nancy Vogt and Constance Moon.

Grandsons: Ryan Moon (wife Carrise), Mitchell Ryan (wife Danielle) and Brennan Ryan.

Granddaughters: Shannon Lambert (husband Chris), Natalie Ford (husband BJ), Sarah Ryan (husband Andrew), Alicia Pirimasihi (husband Dan), Mikayla Vogt- Richards (husband Aaron) and Samantha McClaren (husband Mitchell 2.0). And the Great Grandkids: Trinity Lambert, Skyla Lambert, Kianna Lambert, Melina Richards, Ariana Richards, Indiana Moon, Reiner Moon, Ryley Ford, Aysa Ford, Kaleb Ford, Reid Ryan, Magnolia Ryan and David Ryan Pirimasihi.

A Funeral Mass at St. Francis Cabrini Church will be celebrated at 10:30am Thursday, November 16th.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Windcrest at 2:00pm the same day.

To order memorial trees in memory of Mabel "Mae" M. Ryan, please visit our tree store.

Past Services


Thursday, November 16, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

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Graveside Service

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Starts at 9:00 am (Mountain time)

Ft. Logan National Cemetery

4400 W Kenyon Ave, Denver, CO 80236

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