|Photos and story courtesy of Sr. Mary Schumacher, RSCJ, LPC|
Marie Julia Ryan deMott, known as Rye, celebrated her 95th birthday with 113 family and friends on Sunday, September 1, 2013. The pink themed celebration as was evident by the beautiful pink flowers and delicious pink frosted cake was held at the Renaissance Mansion in Omaha, Nebraska. The guests were treated to live violin music as Rye graciously greeted each and everyone throughout the evening. Six of her great grand children were present and three of her four living children, as five of her children are deceased. Steve a Maryknoll priest was director of Maryknoll communications and died at the age of 57. Peter who was a peace activist died while trimming trees.
Marie Julia Ryan was born on September 1, 1918 in Iowa, the eldest daughter of Mary O'Meara and Eulogius William Ryan. She was a 1940 graduate of Duchesne College in Omaha, Nebraska. Sr. Connie Campbell, RSCJ was her college roommate.
In the mid 1940's Rye met and married John Irving deMott. The newlyweds settled in Minnesota and had nine children. While living in Minnesota on a 600 acre farm that her husband had inherited, John tragically died two days before Christmas in 1955. Rye became a widow with nine children to raise at the age of 39. Three years later Rye a speech and drama teacher decided to move the children to Omaha, Nebraska.
Rye was the activities director for the Religious of the Sacred Heart assisted living community at Duchesne for 10 years in the 70's. She spent over 25 years teaching and tutoring at Duchesne Academy.
While she has had her share of grief, Rye's deep faith has been her underlying strength throughout her life. It was her custom to walk over a mile to St. Cecelia Cathedral and attend daily Mass before heading to work at the Duchesne Academy. She is a faithful friend and a living model of her love for God and witness of faith.