Cover photo for Judy R. Ryan's Obituary
Judy R. Ryan Profile Photo

Judy R. Ryan

February 18, 1946 — August 15, 2022

Judy R. Ryan

Judy R. Ryan, 76 of Devils Lake passed away peacefully on Monday, August 15, 2022 at Eventide Heartland Care Center, Devils Lake.

There will be a Celebration of Judy’s precious life on Sunday, September 18, 2022 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Creel Bay Country Club, rural Devils Lake.

Judy Rae Peterson was born February 18, 1946, to Doris and Albert Peterson. She graduated from Devils Lake Central High School in 1964. She received her AA Degree from Lake Region Junior College and a BS Degree in Education from Minnesota State University, Moorhead MN. She also participated in Queens College City University of New York, earning credits in Theater, her true passion.

In 1968, Judy began a teaching career at Crookston Public School as the Speech/English instructor. She was united in marriage to David Ryan in 1970 and moved with him to Oklahoma where she began work with Dunn and Bradstreet and later with AT&T. In 1974, they were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Shelly. While living in Oklahoma, Judy earned an MBA from Central State University, Edmond, Oklahoma. Her and David returned to Devils Lake in 1984 and Judy began a 22-year career with Lake Region State College as associate professor of English, Speech and Humanities. Always eager to get back into a learning role, she earned her Masters Degree in Theatre Arts from the University of North Dakota in 1990. 

Along with teaching, Judy directed many theatre productions in the Lake Region area. She was involved in the community by participating in Pioneer Players, the Arts Council of the Lake Region, the ND Humanities Council and Fort Totten Little Theatre as an actress, board member and director. From 1990-1996, Judy chaired the ND Humanities Council. In 2003, she received the Arts Achievement Award from the Arts Council and in 2006 she was inducted into the Lake Region State College’s Hall of Fame. 

She left the college following a stroke which left her with impaired speech. Her family and good friends were instrumental in her recovery. She stayed interested in the arts and continued to attend many events in the community up to and including her entry into the Eventide Nursing Home in 2021.

She is survived by her daughter Shelly Kristen Ryan of Waite Park MN; her brothers David (Cheryl) Peterson and Brent Peterson; sister-in-law Sharon Peterson all of Devils Lake; aunt Alyce Grishkowsky of Bismarck ND; uncle Howard (Sharon) Anderson of Oregon and many dear cousins, nieces, nephews and their families.

She will be greatly missed by her beloved friends, Jeannie, Darla, Bev and Patter.

She was preceded in death by her husband David Ryan, brother Michael Peterson and her parents.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Judy R. Ryan, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, September 18, 2022

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Creel Bay Country Club

, Devils Lake, ND 58301

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