William Joseph “Punk” Ryan
William Joseph Ryan, Deer Lodge.
William Joseph “Punk” Ryan of Deer Lodge died Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at the age of 78.
Born Dec. 28, 1938, in Deer Lodge to Joe and Mary Ann Petersen Ryan, Bill married Annette Lescantz Ryan on May 7, 1960.
A Deer Lodge resident almost his entire life, Bill graduated from Powell County High School in 1956. He rodeoed, played football, and ran track for the Wardens. In 1960, he began his plumbing apprenticeship at the Galen State Hospital, riding bulls on the weekends. While at Galen, he met the love of his life, Annette. In 1975, he started Ryan Plumbing and Heating. For four decades, Bill worked tirelessly to keep the heat on and the water running, morning and night, weekends and holidays. He never told anyone “no.” At times he fixed furnaces mid-winter for local retirees for free. Bill loved his community and enjoyed a good conversation.
In addition to his kindness and generosity, Bill will be remembered as a world-class storyteller who especially loved to regale his grandchildren with stories of his many adventures. An avid outdoorsman, Bill enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing and trapping, and passed on that appreciation to his sons and grandchildren. After retiring, Bill spent his free time visiting with family, working in his garden and greenhouse, watching westerns, and cheering on his beloved New York Yankees and Kansas City Chiefs.
Bill is survived by his wife Annette and their two sons, Joe and his wife Lindi of Deer Lodge, and Mike and his wife Shelly of Billings; his brothers Jerry Ryan and his wife Kitty of Arizona City, Ariz., and Danny Ryan and his wife Connie of Manhattan; his five grandchildren, John Ryan and his wife Lori of Wheat Ridge, Colo., Anne Ryan and her fiancée Sam Honeyman of La Grange, Ga., Erin Ryan of Bozeman, Katherine Ryan of Billings, and Patrick Ryan and his wife Sarah of Billings; and his two great-grandchildren, Jacob and Logan Ryan of Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Bill’s memorial service was held this past Saturday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Deer Lodge. It was officiated by Fr. Joe Fleming.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Deer Lodge Elks. B.P.O.E Lodge 1737.