Sharon Ryan

August 17, 1940
August 11, 2021

Sharon A. Van Ermen Ryan, 80, passed away in her sleep on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. She was born August 17, 1940, to the late Camille and Florence (Smits) Van Ermen. Sharon was a 1958 graduate of St. Joseph Academy, and upon graduation worked for two years as an assistant for a few doctors in the De Pere area. On October 27, 1960, she married James J. Ryan at Annunciation Catholic Church in Green Bay.

Sharon’s selfless love and support for her family and friends were clearly evident in her interactions with them. Whether family and friends were near or far, she made it a point to let them know that they were in her thoughts. Sharon’s spirit and joy of having a good time with family and friends will remain in the loving memories of all who hold her close to their hearts. Yet, a strong faith in God guided Sharon and gave her the strength as she stood by Jim and cared for him in his Alzheimer’s illness until his passing on November 11, 2018. Her dedication, strength, and courage as she walked the path with him were admirable for those who watched her navigate those tumultuous waters. Knowing her character, one can recall her years working with the Service League of Green Bay to meet the physical, educational, and emotional needs of the children through her volunteer hours as well as her financial support. Sharon embraced and gave her time and service to several different community organizations.

Sharon’s personality and character can be best encapsulated by the following quote by Fred Rogers from his book, The World According to Mister Rogers. He says, “Mutual caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain.” She was a role model in her ability to give of herself to others.

Sharon is survived by her children and their spouses: Tim (Dawn) Ryan, Green Bay; Mary (Gary) Spielbauer, De Pere; Michele Ryan, Traverse City, Michigan; Marni (Paul) Slavik, Burlington, Vermont. She is further survived by her eight grandchildren: Elle and Kyla Ryan; Kelsey and Brady Spielbauer; McKenzie and Madissen Miller; Evey and Maelyn Slavik. She is survived by her sister-in-law Barbara Van Ermen as well as her husband’s siblings and their families: Joan (Nic) Wahl, Pat (Tammy) Ryan, and Kathy Kapalin.

Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, Camille and Florence, in-laws John and Ethel Ryan, brother and sister-in-law Keith and Carol Van Ermen, brother Dale Van Ermen, brother-in-law Daryl Kapalin, niece Melissa Kapalin, nephew’s wife Randi VanErmen, and nephew’s daughter, Kelly Van Ermen.

Private family services are being held. Online condolences may be expressed at

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Greater Wisconsin Chapter Alzheimer’s Association (; (920) 469-2110; 3313 S. Packerland Dr., Suite E, De Pere, WI 54115).

Sharon’s family expresses their deepest gratitude to her dear friends and neighbors for their constant love and support.

The family knows that Sharon has been reunited with Jim and currently they are sharing stories and watching tennis and golf, together again!