Diane Marie Boylan Ryan

April 18, 1939 - February 15, 2021

Our beautiful, strong, brave, loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and friend, Diane Marie Boylan Ryan, 81, died in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by her loved ones on February 15th in Salt Lake City from advanced ovarian cancer.

She was born April 18, 1939 to the late Maria and Hugh Boylan in Chicago where she spent an idyllic childhood with her sister and two brothers Mary Ann, Michael and the late Hugh Boylan II. 

After an engaging education with her KWIPS friends at Fenger High School, Diane earned a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where she worked as a carhop, and loved her time with friends. She later returned to Chicago and became a print and runway model for Marshall Fields and the Chicago Tribune. She was stunningly beautiful, inside and out.

Diane’s greatest blessings came with the arrival of her three cherished daughters, Kelly, Kerry and Katy who lovingly cared for her until her time of death, as she had done for so many others.

Mom was not a contractor by trade, but boy did she build a beautiful life for her and her children. She worked at Baskin Robbins and put herself through Nursing School at the University of Chicago. She became a Cardiovascular Critical Care Nurse, and she loved it. She was a passionate caretaker, she loved medicine, she loved her patients and their families. 

In 1979, she followed her friends on a ski trip out West and returned home to tell her girls they were moving to the Wild West, to Utah!  

She rented a U-haul, loaded it up with a few household necessities, her dog, three teenager girls, and of course her prized hostas, iris, and daisies, and blazed a trail across the plains, telling us to “ think of the pioneers” as we bemoaned every historical marker along the way!

The simplest of pleasures brought Mom the greatest joy; she could often be found in her treasured gardens from sun up until sun down, relishing in the many compliments from neighbors and passers by on the beauty she created. She loved to entertain her church friends, book club, movie group and longtime friends in her gardens. She loved a party!

Mom trusted, and followed, the brilliancy of her own spirit. She loved weekend road trips which led her down many unpaved roads, leading to all sorts of unmentioned adventures and of course a trunk-load of ‘special’ rocks.  Oh the rocks! Each summer Mom would take her grandchildren for one of these adventure-seeking road trips, which in turn left them with not only crazy stories to tell, but with a love for adventure of their own. Mom was a talented watercolor artist whose work adorns many homes.

Mom dedicated her time after retirement to the No One Dies Alone program through Intermountain Healthcare. She had such compassion for others. 

Mom led by example.  She showed us how to be brave, loving, forgiving, light-hearted, strong, and kind. She lived an incredibly full and blessed life, for which we are joyful. We are relieved knowing she is free from her heroic battle with ovarian cancer and that her suffering is finally over. 

We, as many, are broken-hearted, but we are eternally grateful for having been able to spend our lives in her presence.  We love you to the moon and back, and will forever miss you.

Goodnight sweet Momma, we love you. Sweet dreams, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite, and don’t forget to kiss us in the morning.

To honor Diane, she would want you to give (time or donation) to those suffering from the ravages of cancer, abuse, dementia, hunger, loneliness. She would want you to hold their hands, and not let anyone die alone. Spread kindness and compassion. Rescue a pet. Love those who are different. And to remember Mom, plant some perennial flowers, and remember her when they bloom each year. Remember Mom happy, smiling, remember her kindness, compassion and love, and spread it everywhere.

Survived by her adoring daughters Kelly Ryan, Kerry Kerr, and Kate Ryan. Five loving grandchildren, Morgan Ryan, Patrick Leary (Rachel Warnick) Maxwell Leary, Timothy Leary and Jacob Leary. One precious great granddaughter Emerson Leary, her beloved sister MaryAnn Richards and brother Michael Boylan, nieces, nephews and so many dear friends.

Diane's Farewell Party will be virtual through ZOOM (ask your kids or grandkids) so that all may safely gather and share in her memories and love.   Please join on Thursday, February 18th at 3:30 PM MST.  If you have not received your ZOOM invitation, please contact Starks Funeral Parlor at (801) 474-9119. 

A private Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, February 19th at 11:00 AM MST. Friends may livestream the mass by returning to this page where a "Watch Service Live" button will appear.  All are invited immediately following the mass to Mount Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City where she will be laid to rest at approximately 12:30 PM MST. Please follow COVID guidelines in person at the cemetery, alternatively you may choose to livestream from this site.