Heather N. Ryan, 48, of Rockaway, NJ lost her lifelong battle against spina bifida on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ while surrounded by her family. Heather was born on July 9, 1970 in Summit, NJ. She grew up in Long Valley, NJ and after graduating from West Morris Central High School she moved to Rockaway NJ where she lived for the past 20 years.
Heather was a resilient, generous, outgoing and kind-hearted young lady who overcame many obstacles to live a full life. After graduating from high school she proudly obtained her drivers license and worked for many years as a store greeter at Shop Rite in Chester, NJ. She enjoyed a full social calendar and was always looking forward to her next activity whether it was a trip down the shore to the Tiki Bar, the theater with her nieces and nephews, or a party with the Ryan clan she led an active life. When she wasn’t the life- of- the party, she enjoyed enjoyed cooking for her roommates, crafting with friends, volunteering at local fundraisers, going to dinner with friends and destroying the competition in scrabble.
Despite the handicaps and crosses that she was given to bear, Heather’s courage and will to survive inspired all that crossed her path. She will be missed by the many lives that she touched. Heather is survived by; her father John P. Ryan, her siblings Katie Devine and her husband Kevin, Sean Ryan and his wife Jill, Devin Ryan, her godchildren Bridget and Dillon, her nieces and nephews` Jack, Siobhan, and Liam, and her long time caretaker and close friend, Soraya. She was predeceased by her mother, Nancy Ryan.
A Celebration of Heather’s life will be held Saturday, January 5, 2018. With a visitation starting at 1 pm at St. Luke’s Church, 265 West Mill Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853 followed by a funeral mass at 2 pm. Afterwards all are invited to celebrate her life at Desiderio Tranquility Farm, 300 Old Chester Rd, Chester, NJ 08930 from 3:30 onwards with food and drink.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Spina Bifida Association at http://spinabifidaassociation.org/donate/.