Linda Rowe Ryan

November 5th, 1941February 15th, 2023

Linda Rowe Ryan


Linda Rowe Ryan, 81, of Broomfield, Colorado, passed into eternity on Wednesday, February 15th, surrounded by the love of her family. She was preceded in death by her husband Jim. 

Linda was born in Oak Park, Illinois on November 5, 1941 to Jeannette and Harry Rowe, and was joined 12 years later by beloved younger sister Marcie.  She attended elementary school, junior high and high school in the Chicago area, then set off for college at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After graduating with a BSEd in Speech and Audiology, Linda moved to Milwaukee and shared an apartment with friends, one of whom set her up on a blind date with a charming bachelor named Jim Ryan. Jim and Linda’s first date took place at what is now Milwaukee’s “Best Kept Secret” – The SafeHouse. That auspicious beginning led to a wedding on June 25, 1966, two children, son Steve Ryan (Anne) and daughter Jennifer Gero (Brian) and 10 grandchildren: Amelia, Lauren, Kaela, Isabel, Emma, Logan, Olivia, Peter, Mateo and Joseph. 

Linda and Jim built a close-knit family and played an active and loving part in the lives of extended family.  Steve and Jen were blessed to spend lots of time with aunts, uncles and cousins who were more than just relatives - they were friends. Linda also balanced meaningful work as the Activities Director at the Congregational Home in Wauwatosa with devotion to her husband and children, who knew there was a full cookie jar and a freezer full of homemade meals in the basement if needed.  She was an active volunteer at the Congregational Church in Wauwatosa, a friend with a listening ear and a cold soda (usually “Tab”) in the fridge, and a stellar snack maker. She left us great recipes and even better advice: if you want a friend, be a friend. Prior Planning Pays. People want to tell you about themselves, all you have to do is ask.

Together, the Ryan Family enjoyed summer camping adventures that often spanned two weeks or more because of Jim’s generous vacation allowance.  These were epic trips involving thorough and laborious packing of the “kitchen cabinets” for the family pop-up camper, visits to national parks, unpredictable weather and predictable car trouble.  Misadventures, happy times camping with friends and lots of beautiful scenery translated into a deep love for the mountains of Colorado, where Linda and Jim retired and Jen’s family still lives today.

The final years of Linda’s life were marked by a 6 year struggle with progressive dementia which first took her independence, then her speech and finally, her life. Though this was heartbreaking, Linda’s love for her family never left her.  We are deeply grateful for this final and most durable gift.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Congregational Home in honor of Linda’s years of dedication and service to what she called the ‘Home’.  Donations can be made online at



A memorial service at First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa, 1511 Church Street, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11th, with a reception at the church to follow.