Venita Kay Ryan

August 12, 1938July 28, 2018

Venita Kay Ryan

Venita Kay Ryan (Shepler), age 79, passed away, peacefully, in her home in Kennewick, Washington on Saturday, July 28, 2018. Venita was born to Lewis and Helen Shepler in Longview, Washington on August 12, 1938. Venita and her parents, along with her two sisters, Carol and Wanda, lived in Kelso, Washington until moving to Idaho in 1948.

Venita's parents were family-oriented and liked the outdoors. Lewis worked at the Hanford Atomic Energy Reservation housing department during World War II. Helen worked at the Jantzen Mill in Portland. The family operated a neighborhood grocery store in Kelso, Washington. They worked at various jobs after moving to Idaho, the first year in Fruitland and then to Payette in 1949. Venita graduated from Payette High School in 1956 as the salutatorian of her class.

Venita married Joseph Marion Ryan on April 21, 1956 at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Payette, Idaho and they had six children together. Their moves, while Marion was enlisted in the Air Force, included Texas and California, and while in California she had the opportunity to take Russian Language classes so she could converse with Marion who was studying Russian. While he was overseas, Venita and the children returned to Payette. They continued to raise their children in Idaho, Michigan, back to Idaho and then moved to Prosser, Washington in 1972.

Venita loved children and pets. She preferred yard work to house work but her family always came first. She raised kids, ran an in-home daycare, bowled in the Ore-Ida league, kept score at literally 100's of softball games, attended many sporting events, and followed all their kids' athletic events.

In 1981, Marion and Venita moved to St. Maries, Idaho where they had purchased 10 acres to build a home, but in the mean time (5 ½ years) they lived in a 16ft. X 30ft. tent with no electricity, no running water (Marion said “Venita ran to get it”) and no county maintained road. Venita pumped water, split wood, hauled rock for the road, and helped maintain the 10 acres. She began working at a daycare center in St. Maries in 1983 and within a year she was made manager. Muddy and snowy roads made her walk a mile to a county road and their pickup. She never complained!

In 1994 Venita began coordinating ladies doing food demonstrations in grocery stores. She worked for three companies who had territories covering Wyoming, Western Montana, Idaho, Eastern Washington, and Alaska. After moving into the house four phone lines were added. The time differences got to be too much with early morning in Wyoming and late night in Alaska. During this time she would take her fax machine and follow Marion on fire assignments as far away as Georgia and Florida.

Venita was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2007. We discussed our future for the first of many times. Our kids made it possible for us to purchase a fifth wheel trailer and travel. During summers you would find her camp hosting in the Teton mountains, winters were spent exploring Utah, Nevada, Southeast California, and Arizona, and in the spring she worked concessions at a Spring Baseball Training stadium. When traveling got to be too much, she lived for a year in Nampa, Idaho.

The last five years of Venita's life, she lived in Kennewick, Washington with their generous daughter, Tami. The support of their six kids and their spouses during this 10 years is indescribable. There was nothing she needed nor wanted that was not taken care of. Venita is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Marion; her wonderful children Kelly (Mark) Bolander, Shannon Christen, Mike (Kristin) Ryan, Tami (David) Hughes, Teri (John) Gilden, Shawn (Charlene) Ryan; twelve grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; as well as her sisters, Carol (Stan) McNutt and Wanda Collingwood.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Helen Shepler, her brother-in-law, Richard Collingwood, her sister-in-law, Carolyn Landon, her brother-in-law, David Landon, her son-in-law, Steve Christen and her nephew Steve McNutt.

Services will be held on Tuesday, August 7th, 2018, under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel. A viewing will be held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fruitland, Idaho from 10:00 am to 11:30am. Mass services will be conducted at 1:00 pm at Corpus Christi Catholic Church followed by a graveside service at Riverside Cemetery in Payette, Idaho. A reception will be open to friends and family, after graveside services, at the gathering place of Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Officiating the services will be Father Camilo Garcia D.

Honorary Pall bearers: Randy Collingwood, Mark Collingwood, David McNutt Pall bearers: Rick Collingwood, Tom Ryan, Dan Ryan, Chad Landon, Shane Ryan, Clay Landon

Memorial donations may be made in Venita's name to the Alzheimer's Association or the Chaplaincy Health Care Hospice of Kennewick, Washington.

Tremendous gratitude to everyone who helped Venita in the final phase of her life, including, but not limited to, the Kadlec Neurological Center, to Jodi Henderson who took such gentle care of her, to Sheila Hall, Natalie Lockheart, Cortney Needham and the entire Chaplaincy Hospice family, who took such good care of all of us, and to all of Venita's family and friends for their love and support throughout her life.


  • Marion Ryan, Husband
  • Kelly Bolander, Daughter
  • Mark Bolander, Son-in-law
  • Shannon Christen, Daughter
  • Mike Ryan, Son
  • Kristin Ryan, Daughter-in-law
  • Tami Hughes, Daughter
  • David Hughes, Son-in-law
  • Teri Gilden, Daughter
  • John Gilden, Son-in-law
  • Shawn Ryan, Son
  • Charlene Ryan, Daughter-in-law
  • Carol McNutt, Sister
  • Stan McNutt, Brother-in-law
  • Wanda Collingwood, Sister
  • Lewis Shepler, Father
  • Helen Shepler, Mother
  • Richard Collingwood, Brother-in-law
  • Carolyn Landon, Sister-in-law
  • David Landon, Brother-in-law
  • Steve Christen, Son-in-law
  • Steve McNutt, Nephew
  • 12 Grandchildren, 13 Great grandchildren

  • Chad Landon, Active
  • Clay Landon, Active
  • Rick Collingwood, Active
  • Tom Ryan, Active
  • Dan Ryan, Active
  • Shane Ryan, Active
  • Randy Collingwood, Honorary
  • Mark Collingwood, Honorary
  • David McNutt, Honorary

  • Alzheimers's Association
  • Chaplaincy Health Care Hospice of Kennewick, Washington


  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, August 7, 2018
  • Visitation Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Venita Kay Ryan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sherry Bentley

August 11, 2018

I am sorry to hear about Venita's passing. I grew up in St. Maries, Idaho and remember her at my daycare center when I was a young child. She was very kind and was a great teacher there. I have very fond memories of being there. Prayers of healing to her family during this difficult time.


August 11, 2018

My sincerest condolences to the family and friends. It is never easy losing a loved one, may the hope we have for the very near future help you endure these difficult times times, John 5:28,29.

Dawn Joan Kaiser

August 10, 2018

Way to many memories to fit in this small space. I can still see her smile and hear her laugh and that is from many years ago and then some times not so long ago. I have pictures from a trip to McCall in the Spring of 1955 with Marion, Venita, Owen and I. I remember a stop to see Sam and I in Cheyenne 7 or 8 years ago. Venita made a difference in our world and that is all any of us can hope for.

John Anderson

August 8, 2018

Marion.... I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife. You may not remember me. I worked with you for the Forest Service in Avery. I grew up in Payette and knew your younger brothers.

John Anderson

Gary & Cathy Lowman

August 6, 2018

Marion and family.
Cathy and I were indeed saddened to learn of Venita’s passing. Alsheimers is a vicious disease, but I will always remember Venita from you and I being good friends while at OreIda. She was a good hearted person with always a smile, I always told you that you married up. She will be missed, and even though we didn’t see each other much for a lot of years, you guys were always some of my favorite people and I hope you can find peace.
We are not in town so can’t be at the service, but always know we are thinking of you.
Love Gary & Cathy