Lynne Morgan Ruyle, age 66, died Monday, July 2, 2012, at home. She fought a courageous, year-long battle against the non-Hodgkin lymphoma that finally took her life.
Lynne was born July 31, 1945, in Pawnee City, Neb., to William F. and Bette W. Morgan. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio, Bristol, Tenn., and Madison, Ind., where she graduated from high school. After a semester at Indiana University, she entered the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, in Indianapolis, graduating in 1968 with a Diploma in Nursing.
After passing the examination to become a Registered Nurse, Lynne was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps, and went on active duty at Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver. She then volunteered for service in Vietnam, arriving at the 71st Evacuation Hospital in Pleiku in March 1969. Lynne was assigned to the Emergency/Trauma unit, and served with great distinction throughout her one-year tour. She was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, an achievement matched by few other nurses.
In April 1969, she met her future husband, Robb Ruyle, soon after he arrived to serve as the hospital’s patient administration and air evacuation officer. Lynne and Robb were married in Madison, Ind., on December 19, 1970.
After several years in Steubenville, Ohio, and Cumberland, Md., Lynne, Robb, and their two children, Thomas Morgan Ruyle and Erin Kendall Ruyle, arrived in Montrose in April 1982. Lynne was initially the breadwinner for the family, making $4.82 an hour working evenings as a nurse in the Montrose Memorial Emergency Department, while Robb was starting a business that later became Powderhorn Industries.
Lynne told many fascinating stories of her years as an ER nurse. She was on duty April 23, 1983, when Montrose Police Department Reserve Patrolman Larry McMaster was killed and Sgt. Steve Keep was seriously wounded in a shootout at the No Delay Café. She kept Sgt. Keep alive until surgeon Charles Abernathy, MD, arrived to operate.
She was a gifted nurse. She could, and did, save people’s lives, as her husband and children can attest from personal experience. She saved each of us, at least once.
In 1988, Lynne joined the Colorado Army National Guard, rising to the rank of major, and became the first nurse to command a National Guard medical unit in Colorado.
Lynne had a wicked sense of humor. A complete extrovert, she made friends easily and kept them forever. There are nursing school friends, Army friends, Steubenville and Cumberland friends, Montrose friends, river and adventure friends, all of whom she kept in touch with and cherished.
She was a traveler and an adventurer. She was always ready to canoe or raft a river, to climb a mountain, to travel to Nepal or Antarctica, to the British Virgin Islands or the Bahamas, to Chile or Machu Picchu, or just to introduce her granddaughters to the beauty and majesty of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. A planned Alaska trip was cancelled when the cancer arrived.
Lynne and Robb were each other’s best friends over almost 42 years of marriage. They were comfortable being together, but also comfortable enough being apart that they gave each other enormous space to pursue their individual interests. Lynne liked to camp, Robb doesn’t. Robb likes bluegrass music, the sound of banjos made Lynne cover her ears and run. The space to “do her own thing” was vital to Lynne’s sense of well-being, and she darned well used it.
Lynne served two terms on the Montrose RE-1J school board, including three years as its president.
Besides her husband, Robb, son Thomas (Megan) of Alexandria, Va., and daughter Erin (Candido) Martinez, of Olathe, Lynne is survived by her brother, William F. (Beverly) Morgan, MD, of Phoenix, and sister Wendy M. (Jerry) Burrell, of Montrose. Lynne was the proud grandmother of Kendall Morgan Franks and Cassie Marie Franks, of Olathe.
At Lynne’s request, cremation has taken place. A private family memorial service to celebrate Lynne’s life will be held on a beautiful fall day, with scattering of ashes to follow in Lynne’s favorite peaceful camping and kayaking spot, Woods Lake. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lynne’s honor may be made to the Olathe High School FFA Chapter, PO Box 546, Olathe, CO 81425.