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Christopher W. Ryan Jr. ’57

Music was always the center of Chris’s professional and private life. He held advanced degrees in choral conducting and voice and was prepared for teaching at any level.

At Reed he majored in literature and wrote his thesis, “King Lear: A Study of Theme and Structure.” He went on to get a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Oregon. Chris became an accomplished church musician, and his employment with the First Congregational Church of Eugene, Oregon, gave him the opportunity to put on full-scale performances of the great liturgical works of Handel and Bach. After moving to Durango, he continued to be active musically until his retirement, after which his focus was chamber music, which he directed and enjoyed at home. Many musicians, both beginners and semiprofessionals, participated in the chamber music sessions in the Ryans’ living room. Following a disastrous fall from the roof of the house he built, he had an almost daily struggle with pain.

Chris is survived by Ingrid, his wife of 51 years, and by his three children, Ann, Philip, and Catherine.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2018

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