Obituary: Robert Emmet Ryan

Feb. 8, 1934-Oct. 4, 2017

Robert (Bob) Emmet Ryan passed away peacefully at his home in La Cañada Flintridge on Oct. 4, 2017, at 83. Bob was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Feb. 8, 1934, to Thomas Raymond Ryan III and Lucille Margaret (Roulo) Ryan. He was the youngest of four children, with Eleanor, Mary, and Thomas.

Bob graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1952 and attended University of Detroit’s College of engineering and science. Bob earned an associate’s degree in Engineering Design from Glendale College and later a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from California State University Los Angeles. Bob joined JPL in 1956 and joined the Navy. Bob’s career highlighted a span of countless rocket and deep space missions including Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2, but was best known for his work as mission manager on the Stardust Mission. Stardust became the first spacecraft to successfully return cometary and interstellar dust particles to the Earth.

Bob and Kay Campbell married on June 21, 1958, and moved from Sunland to La Cañada Flintridge in 1963. They had four children; Rob, Margaret, Kathy and Tom, and nine grandchildren. Kay passed away in December. Bob and Kay are together again with God.

Mass will be held with the Rev. Tony and the Rev. Ed, followed by a reception at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, at St. Bede the Venerable Church in La Cañada Flintridge. Bob will be interred at Mission San Fernando Cemetery.