Retired Sgt. Maj. Joseph Anthony Ryan, 80, died peacefully at home with his loving family at his side Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

He was born Nov. 29, 1929, in Butler, Pa., to Francis and Mary Irene Ryan. Joe grew up in North Oakland, Pa., and resided there until he enlisted in the Army in 1947. Following fireman and military police assignments in New York, Maryland, Panama, Korea and Europe, Joe was reassigned in 1959 to Fort Monmouth, N.J.,  to attend Signal School.

In 1974, he retired as chief instructor of radar at the Signal School. During his illustrious 27-year Army career, Joe attended the noncommissioned officers’ academy in 1957, from which he graduated with top honors. He received numerous military awards.

In 1973, the family moved to West Long Branch, N.J., where he and his wife have resided since. He owned and operated Ryan’s TV, where he serviced many residents’ televisions in the Monmouth County area, repairing many sets at no charge. Joe worked for Radiofone Corp. from 1974 to 1984, and then as a CECOM engineer until retiring in 1997. While at CECOM, he was most proud of his involvement with the Guardrail system deployed during the U.S.-Iraqi war.

Joe was a good man, a devoted and loving father and husband who could be found at home tinkering on projects and developing ideas. Joe was a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates fan. His favorite restaurant was the Hot Dog Shop in Butler, Pa.

In his youth, he was an excellent hunter and he achieved sharpshooter and expert status while in the Army. He was an avid golfer, baseball player and bowler for many years, winning tournaments and awards. He was renowned for his card-playing skills. He coached Little League baseball and the bowling youth at Fort Monmouth. He was a member of the American Legion and the Long Branch Elks Club. He was a member of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association in West Long Branch.

Joe was truly a man of honor, courage and honesty. He was full of life, smiling and laughing with a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes, and always seeing the positive in life. Joe volunteered his services to St. Jerome School and Church, West Long Branch, and Holy Family School, Lakewood, N.J. Above all, Joe’s quick wit and sense of humor were what endeared him so to many.

Married in 1957, Joe is survived by his beloved and devoted wife of 53 years, Charlotte Davis Ryan, formerly of Thorndike, who meticulously and tenderly cared for her husband during this extensive illness. He is survived by four loving children and their families, Patrick and Franca Ryan of Hamilton, N.J., Debra Clayton of Oceanport, N.J., Michael and Linda Ryan of Flower Mound, Texas, and Peter and Karen Ryan of Jackson, N.J.;  11 grandchildren, Alessandro “AJ”, Connor, Desiree, Devin, Kaitlin, Kieran, Kristin, Kyle, Marina, Matthew and Stephanie, who will greatly miss their “Boom Boom”; five brothers and two sisters, Charles, Donald, William, Hugh and Regis Ryan, Rosemary Wagner and Jane Crawford; four sisters-in-law, Grace Stevenson, Jeanette Work, Irene Brown and Janelle Pomroy; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; and three brothers, Arthur, Robert and James Ryan.

Visitation was Oct. 7 at the Fiore Funeral Home, West Long Branch, N.J. A Mass of Christian burial and celebration of his life were held Oct. 8 at the Post Chapel on Fort Monmouth. Interment was at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery, Wrightstown, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Visiting Nursing Association of Central Jersey, 176 Riverside Ave., Red Bank, NJ 07701 or the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf KPSO/KPSEF, P.O. Box 535, Trenton, NJ 08625-0535.