Bernard L Ryan obituary

Bernard L Ryan Obituary

Phoenix, New Mexico, United States

December 01, 2016 - January 29, 2014

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Bernard L Ryan obituary

Bernard L Ryan Obituary

Dec 01, 2016 - Jan 29, 2014

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Bernard L. "Bun" Ryan, 90, of Los Alamos, passed away on Sept. 29. He had been a resident of Los Alamos since 1949. Bun was born on Dec. 23, 1923 in Leadville, CO, the youngest son of James and Bridget Ryan. Following graduation from Leadville High School in 1941, he worked for the JC Penney Corporation. In 1943, he was drafted in the U.S. Army. He served in Field Artillery during the Pacific campaign of WWII until his discharge in 1946 and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service and promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant.After World War II, Bun returned to Leadville, CO to again work at the JC Penney Corporation. He met his wife, Alberta "Jean" Ryan, in Climax, CO, where she was employed as a nurse. They were married Sept. 10, 1949 and moved to Los Alamos that same year. Mr. Ryan was employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1949 until his retirement in 1990. During the later part of his laboratory career, he received a Distinguished Performance Award for his work in establishing the Employee Assistance Program, a program which focused on recovery from substance abuse.Mr. Ryan was also known for his career in fast-pitch softball. He was nicknamed "Bullet Bun" and became famous nationally as one of the fastest softball pitchers in the country, able to throw more than 100 mph. During his softball career, he pitched in seven World Softball Tournaments, every State Tournament in New Mexico from 1949 to 1988, and played in twelve different states. In 1953, he became a pitcher for Pierrotti's Clowns, a five-man exhibition all-star fast-pitch team created by Lou Pierrotti. The clown antics, performed during regulation softball games, became a favorite form of entertainment in the community. The Clowns sponsored by the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club, raised over $200,000 for charity, and were goodwill ambassadors for Los Alamos and the state of New Mexico. The team was featured in six national magazines, including the first issue of Sports Illustrated published in 1954. Over 25 years, The Clowns won 177 games and lost only 23. The success of the team was due in part to Bun's exceptional pitching. A tribute to The Clowns is featured in a mosaic located in front of Mesa Public Library. Los Alamos County named a softball field in Bun's honor in 1984. He was inducted into the New Mexico Softball Hall of Fame and the Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown of Leadville, CO. Mr. Ryan joined Alcoholics Anonymous in February, 1966. He served as a substance abuse counselor and public speaker throughout his life and was dedicated to assisting others on their road to sobriety.He was an active member of the Democratic Party, and played a pivotal role in bringing President John F. Kennedy and President Bill Clinton to visit and speak in Los Alamos. Mr. Ryan was the Democratic candidate for State Representative in 1994.Bun spent most of his adult life in the community that he loved, and was very proud and honored to have been named a Los Alamos Living Treasure in September of 1999. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Ryan, and his beloved cat, Big-a-Boy. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Ryan of Santa Fe, and his son, Michael Ryan and life partner Darlene Rich, of Los Alamos; grandchildren, Jonathan and Lori Ryan of Phoenix, AZ, and Jennifer Jones of Albuquerque. He is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews and close friends in the community. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 9, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 3700 Canyon Rd., in Los Alamos. A reception will follow at the Parish Hall. He will be interred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery at 11:15 a.m. Oct. 16. Memorial contributions may be made to The Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary, 369 Montezuma Ave, #130, Santa Fe, NM 87501, or to an animal rescue service of your choice. Berardinelli Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Berardinelli Family Funeral Service1399 Luisa Street Santa Fe, NM 87505(505) 984-8600Please sign our guestbook for the family at:www.berardinellifuneralhome.com
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