Obituary: Patricia Jean TeMaat Ryden
March 13, 1940 – February 14, 2023
It is with heavy hearts that we had to say farewell to one of the kindest and most welcoming women that many of us had the pleasure and honor to know. Patricia Jean TeMaat Ryden passed away on February 14, 2023 – a most fitting day since she was full of love and gave so much love to everyone she met.
Patricia had a great, big life. Most people would need three lives to live as big as she did. Patricia did it all. She excelled as a young student, graduated from college, married a compassionate man, raised three daughters, parented and befriended many kids, started businesses, lost businesses, succeeded in businesses, watched daughters graduate from college, helped to raise grandkids, traveled the world, and truly enjoyed all that life offers.
Patricia was the youngest of four children born to Raymond and Madelyn Bates TeMaat on March 13, 1940, in Denver. She is preceded in death by her husband and life partner Lyall D. Ryden, her sister Shirley Hollingsworth, and her brother Michael TeMaat. Patricia is survived by her daughters Romie Bowyer (Lakewood), Ramona Ryden (Vail), and Ronna Dockstater (Ft. Collins); her sister Mary Lou Alexander Bruch; her son-in-laws Travis Bowyer and David Dockstater; her grandchildren Jocelyn & Zachary Bowyer, Trevi & Axel Siebert, and Mazie & Sawyer Dockstater; her great-grandchildren Makaio & Ezra Bowyer; and many loved nieces and nephews.
Patricia had a happy childhood growing up in the Washington Park neighborhood of Denver. She attended St. Vincent de Paul until the 8th grade and graduated high school from St. Francis de Sales in 1958. Patricia always wanted to be a teacher so she attended Colorado State College (now UNC) in Greeley from 1958 to 1962. She received her degree in Speech Therapy and Elementary Education. She taught 1st grade in Gill and 4th grade in Kuner. The students were so happy to see her fresh, kind face. This would be one of a hundred acts of kindness that she would exhibit throughout her life. During her college years, she met Lyall who was 9 years older. He owned a gym, drove a corvette, served martinis and steak, and was a dapper dresser. They were married on December 30, 1961, in Littleton and hit the ground running.
Teaching didn’t pay the bills, so she and Lyall dived in with their whole hearts and souls into the health club business. They owned and operated the Slim & Swim Club then the Greeley Athletic Club from 1960 to 1986. Patricia did it all. She sold memberships. She taught a few thousand kids to swim. She taught exercise classes, racquetball, and handball. She was a personal trainer and measured hundreds of hips small and large. She gave massages, made protein drinks, and tried to keep Lyall calm, which was a full-time job in itself. Patricia even ran out of the locker room naked and rescued someone from drowning in the pool. Life in the health club business was fun, stressful, and profitable until it wasn’t. Patricia and Lyall owned a dozen health clubs between Casper, Wyoming, and Roswell, New Mexico.
Life with their daughters was busy and beautiful. All the girls thrived, swam, and skied. There were many vacations and long weekends in Vail where they had a second home. Patricia had a show-stopping singing voice and was an amazing piano player. She loved to sew matching outfits for her three daughters. She found peaceful moments pruning her lawn and always had beautiful flowers in their home. Once their girls were out of high school, Patricia and Lyall moved to Vail in 1986. They owned a frozen yogurt and chili restaurant, an insurance co op business, and tanning salon while in Vail. Denver became home again in 1992. Lyall had the idea to start a transportation company (Your Gambling Connection then A Charter Company). They had 20 years of success.
The last years in Denver were again happy times for her. They loved the big city activities and continued to travel the world. They cherished their family and friends. She would say how much fun life was. She was so glad that she got to see the world – it was all so beautiful.
Patricia’s funeral service is Sunday, May 14 (Mother’s Day) at 10 a.m., at Newcomer Chapel Lakewood, followed by a celebration of her life at The Oxford Hotel, Downtown Denver.
Patricia regularly donated her blood and was a tissue donor at her death. She would encourage this act of kindness.