Joyce L. Ryan, Whitewater, WI
May 18, 1942 - October 31, 2017
Joyce L. (Villers) Ryan, 75, of Whitewater, passed away on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 after an extended illness. She was born Joyce L. Villers in Oak Park, IL, on May 18, 1942, the daughter of Gaylord (Sr.) and Jeanette Preston Villers. On July 11, 1964, Joyce married Thomas D. Ryan of Cedar Falls, IA. Joyce lived and attended school in Park Ridge, IL, graduating from Maine Township High School. Throughout her childhood and schooling, Joyce was well known for her exceptional vocal music talents and many performances. She went on to graduate from Cornell College in Iowa and received her Masters Degree from the University of Illinois.
As a member of the faculty for 35 years at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Joyce taught voice and created specialized music courses. While she was often honored for her professional contributions—Joyce felt that her greatest achievements were in influencing and mentoring her many students who went on to successful careers, not only in music, but in many professions that benefit from the discipline of music instruction. With her husband and sons (all accomplished percussionists and educators), she remained a lifelong devotee and performer of music. She and Tom also enjoyed travel in the American West, and the study of Native American cultures.
Joyce was devoted to her family. She is survived by her husband, Tom, of Whitewater; her sons, Josh Ryan (Hong Le) of Berea, OH, and Jamie Ryan (Jenelle Orcherton) of Urbana, IL; and two granddaughters, Fiona Ryan and Hong Lan Le Ryan. She is also survived by her brother, Gaylord (Deborah) Villers; brother-in-law, Steve (Melanie) Ryan; sister-in-law, Jane (Clark Sandford) Ryan; and five nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at the First Methodist Church, 145 South Prairie, Whitewater, WI. on Saturday, November 18, 2017, with visitation from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; a special organ recital for Joyce by James Athas from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; and services at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the: Joyce Ryan Voice Scholarship, c/o UW Whitewater Foundation, University of Wisconsin Whitewater, 800 W. Main Street, Whitewater, WI 53190.