Dolores J. “Dee” (Gabel) Ryan

Dolores J. “Dee” (Gabel) Ryan

Dolores J. “Dee” (Gabel) Ryan, age 92, of Dubuque, passed away peacefully at 4:30 a.m., on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at Stonehill Care Center, surrounded by her loving family. To celebrate Dee’s life, family and friends may visit from 11:00 a.m. until 12:45 p.m., on Friday, April 16, 2021, at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 2001 Saint Joseph Street. Due to COVID-19 concerns, all who attend will be required to wear a face covering, and are asked to please maintain social distancing practices. To honor Dee’s life, funeral services will be held immediately following visitation at 1:00 p.m., on Friday at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street is assisting with arrangements.

Dee was born on February 10, 1929, in Dubuque, daughter of George and Josephine (Schmitt) Gabel.
She married Raymond C. “Boz” Ryan on June 5, 1948, at Holy Ghost Church in Dubuque, and together they were blessed with 9 loving children. Ray sadly preceded her in death on August 4, 1997. Dee was a full-time wife, mother and homemaker while her 9 children were being raised. When Dee joined the workforce after her kids were older, she went to work for K-mart in Dubuque for 7 years before being hired away by the Dubuque Community School System. For 14 years she worked as an associate helping with special education students. Dee found her job difficult, but very rewarding. Her background raising her own children was what made her exceptional in what she did day to day at school. She also worked part-time at Betty Jane Candies gift-wrapping candy during the holidays. When Ray became ill, she retired to take care of him full-time for several years, honoring a promise they made to each other to remain in their own home through sickness and in health. In 2004, Dee moved to Colorado to be closer to her children. She remained until September 2018, when Dee returned home to her roots in Dubuque. Dee was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America – Court #1287. She was a member of a widower’s group in Colorado that was very active group. They would regularly play cards, pinochle, go sightseeing and take trips. Dee particularly enjoyed the trip they took to New Mexico together. She also played cards with her girlfriends for over 30 years, rotating house to house and enjoying the food and hospitality of the hostess. The food and desserts were always something special during the games. Dee was an exceptional baker and was known for her desserts and pies and many events were defined by what was for dessert. Dee was a wonderful woman and we will miss her more than words can express, but take some comfort in knowing that she is now happily reunited with her beloved Boz and her son Jim for all Eternity.

Those left to cherish Dee’s memory include

her children,
John Ryan, Arvada, CO,
Roxanne (Michael) Schnee, Colorado Springs, CO,
Kenneth Ryan, Lakewood, CO,
Michael Ryan, Montrose, CO,
Patrick (Michelle) Ryan, Arvada, CO,
Catherine Ryan, Littleton, CO,
Mark (Alice) Ryan, Conifer, CO
and Bruce (Jennifer) Ryan, Highlands Ranch, CO;

17 grandchildren;

13 great-grandchildren;

a sister,
Marlene (Jerry “Buzz”) Hird, Dubuque, IA;

3 sisters-in-law,
Nancy Mohr, DeWitt, IA,
Karen Ryan, Cuba City, WI
Mary Ryan, Dubuque, IA;

and 2 brothers-in-law;
Dan (Doris) Ryan, East Dubuque, IL
and Bob Hintgen, East Dubuque, IL.

Dee was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Raymond “Boz” Ryan; a son, James C. Ryan; 3 sisters, Myrt (Joseph) Deckert, Shirley (Raymond) Shireman and Mary Hingtgen; 3 sisters-in-law, Marlene (Richard) Adams, Doris (Gene) Brewer and Darlene (Jerry) Kiley; and 3 brothers-in-law, Larry Mohr, Tom Ryan and Don Ryan.

Dee’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the wonderful nurses and staff of both Stonehill and Hospice of Dubuque, for all of the kind and compassionate care they have provided for Dee.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Stonehill Care Center or to Hospice of Dubuque in Dee’s name.

The family will thankfully receive your support through phone calls, greeting cards and memorials in Dee’s memory which may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. Dolores Ryan Family.


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St. Joseph the Worker Church
2001 Saint Joseph Street, Dubuque, Iowa
April 16th, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 12:45 PM

Funeral service

St. Joseph the Worker Church
2001 Saint Joseph Street, Dubuque, Iowa
April 16th, 2021 at 1:00 PM

3 condolences for Dolores J. “Dee” (Gabel) Ryan
  1. Donna Gau says:

    My deepest sympathy to all Dolores’s family. I had the pleasure to meet her many years ago at a Jazzercise class with her sister Marlene Hird. I also knew Marlene from working together at Sears.
    From what I remember Dolores could dance excercise with the best of them.
    She is also a sister-in-law to my brother-in-law Dan Ryan.

    May she rest comfortably in heaven.

  2. Deb (Kahler) Hesse says:

    Dear Roxy and all the Ryan kids,
    I am sending my sincere sympathy to you for your loss of precious Dee. What a gal!!! I loved her AND BOZ so much!! So many wonderful memories! She was just a bright star every day! God bless you all! Sending big hugs to you all! Much love! Deb

  3. Peter Richardson " Brandts little brother" says:

    I am so sorry for your loss she lived a life I will always remember the stories of her chasing the boys with the broom when they got of hand So it must of been every day

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