SFC (retired) Maria Bernarda (Espinoza) Ryan, age 90 of Colorado Springs, peacefully ascended to heaven after a short illness on January 21, 2020. Maria was born to Lorenza (Torres) and Toribio Espinoza in Black Lake, New Mexico on May 20, 1929. While stationed at Fort McClellan in 1968, she married Robert Thomas Ryan (deceased) at a Chapel near the WAC training station on post.
Maria was the fifth of twelve children. She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings: Tommie Roy, Larry Espinoza; Herman Espinoza, Benjamin Espinoza, Marie Espinoza, James Espinoza and Albina Romero.
She is survived by sisters, Rose Valdez of Mora, NM, Molly Collins of Ashburn, VA, Toots LaFavor of Bosque Farms, NM and Isabel Espinoza of Carson City, NV; nieces, Pat (Barry) Cooper, Geri (Bob) Lightburn, Monica (Benjamin) Arguello, Carol (David) Smith and Cathy Espinoza; nephews, Andrew T Valdez, Brian Ashelman and Joseph (Laura) Espinoza; eleven great nieces and nephews; and four great-great nieces.
Maria was raised on a ranch in Northern New Mexico. After graduating High School in Taos, NM, she served her country in the Women’s Army Corps – US Army from 1954 to 1974 rising to the rank of Sergeant First Class. Her last assignment was in Fort Myer, VA where she was the assistant to the Director of ACS and NCO I/C of ACS. Maria and Bob retired to Colorado Springs in 1974, where she was very active with a multitude of organizations as well as enjoying her hobbies. She enjoyed gardening, hiking, skiing, traveling and biking. She was a very active volunteer with numerous organizations including Evans Army Hospital pharmacy for over twenty years, the Nat’l Space Foundation, TREA-The Enlisted Association-Chapter #1, WAC Pikes Peak Chapter and Pikes Peak Veterans’ Council. Maria was a very devout Catholic and a member of St Dominic Catholic Church in Security. She volunteered at the Chapels on Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base. She served on the Military Council of Catholic Women at Peterson Air Force Base and was a volunteer at the Catholic Center in the Citadel Mall.
Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 at St Dominic Catholic Church, 5354 S US Highway 85-87, Security, CO with Father John Stearns as Celebrant. A reception will be at the Church following the mass. A private inurnment will be held later at the Shrine of Remembrance – Veterans Honor Court Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of Maria B. Ryan can be mailed to St Dominic Catholic Church-New Parish Hall Fund, 5354 S Hwy 85, Security, CO 80911.