Viola (Hunt) Ryan, GG or Grandma to her grandkids blood and otherwise, of Thermopolis, WY passed away peacefully on Monday morning, February 7, 2022. She was born in Baggs, WY on September 30, 1939 to her parents, Lyle and Cassie Hunt. Viola, the youngest of six siblings, was raised in Glenrock, WY.
In 1956, Viola married the love of her life, Tom Ryan, in Hot Springs, SD. After marrying and traveling around Wyoming for a year, the couple and their young family settled in Thermopolis in 1957, making it their forever home. They spent the next 60+ years raising their six children and enjoying their many grandchildren. Viola and Tom were married for almost 64 years until Tom passed in August of 2020.
Tom and his brother, Jim, founded Ryan Bros Trucking Inc. in 1958, but not without the full support of Viola. She was there from the very beginning and was an integral part of the business. While working at Ryan Bros, she also worked a few other jobs over the years. Two of her favorite places to work were the local flower shop and ice cream parlor.
Viola devoted her life to her family, community, and Catholic faith. Her large family was her heart. She was so proud of her husband, children, and grandchildren, and she would tell anyone who would listen. Her family, however, did not stop where biology draws a line. Viola and Tom’s home was always open. All were welcome, and all who sat at their table were family. She did not know a stranger. She loved her people fiercely, and she made a home that was full of joy and home-cooked meals. She once said, “Houses are not just built for people to live in. Houses are built for people to love in.” Being loved by her was an honor.
Beyond the walls of her home, she poured into her community by volunteering for countless local organizations. She served on the CCW/Altar Society, parish council, and as a CCD volunteer at St. Francis Catholic Church. She worked as a Hot Springs County Election Judge, a 4-H leader, and a judge at the county fair. She also frequently volunteered in the school system. She selflessly offered her time and talents throughout her lifetime.
One of her favorite pastimes was coffee with her friends. She was an avid reader and a beautiful seamstress. She was a devoted member of the Extension Club. But her truest joy in life was spending time with her family and watching her grandkids grow up.
Viola is survived by her daughters: Lorinda (Tom) Collings, Ann (Carl) Huhnke, Susan (Keith) Estenson, Rose (Yancy) Cundall and sons: Tom (Liz) Ryan and Bob (Carrie) Ryan, her sister, Eva and her sisters-in-law Mary, Bonita, and Evonne. She is also survived by 22grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren. Viola was preceded in death by her loving husband Tom; her parents Lyle and Cassie Hunt; brothers Lee, Clifford, and Howard; her sister Ilene; and her great granddaughter Samantha Denekamp.
A Rosary vigil will be held on Friday, February 18, 7:00 pm, with a viewing from 6:00-7:00 pm at St. Francis Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, February 19,10:30 am with a viewing from 9:00-10:00 am at St. Francis Catholic Church with a luncheon to follow at the parish hall after the graveside service. Her grandson, Fr. Brian Cundall and Fr. Randy Oswald will be officiating.
Mortimore Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online messages may be offered at www.mortfh.com.
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