Peggy Joyce West

obit_082213_westPeggy Joyce West was born in Ramsey County, Minn., Nov. 25, 1937, and passed away Aug. 6, 2013, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, N.D., at the age of 75. As a child, Peggy lived and attended school in White Bear Lake, Minn. She was a lively child, who enjoyed playing with her siblings, riding bicycle with no hands, dancing, roller skating and singing with her sister in church.  She attended school until June of 1952, when at the age of 14, a brain aneurysm left her permanently paralyzed on the entire right side of her body. Peggy eventually regained her ability to speak and to walk, she learned to become left-handed and she adapted well to her one-handed lifestyle. In 1956, she married Leo Edward Ryan and gave birth to her first child, Dianne Marie Ryan, in 1958. Peggy and Leo relocated to California in 1959, and eight more Ryan children were born over the next 18 years: Janice Ann, Michael Allen, Debra Kay, Richard Dean, Vera Lynn, Brenda Lee, Ami Michelle, and Melanie Jean. Peggy was a homemaker for most of her life, cooking, cleaning, ironing and raising her children; still she found time to eventually return to school and earn her GED, of which she was very proud. Although she was disabled most of her life, she was usually in good spirits, loved to laugh, sing, yodel and be silly, tell stories and play with children. She had no trouble making friends, was well liked and easily remembered by her unusual antics. She enjoyed people, animals, nature, art, music, driving, traveling, occasional gambling, reading, the number five, antiques, puzzles, jewelry, coffee, the History Channel and family. Peggy lived in various places in California, spending many years in Redondo Beach, Norco, Hemet, and northern parts of the state. She returned to Minnesota in July 2005, lived for a couple months in Long Prairie, and then in November 2005, moved in with her daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Dan Moy and their children, in Halstad, Minn. Peggy continued living with the Moy family until her recent passing. Peggy was a strong-willed woman, determined and feisty, sometimes downright stubborn and often a little bit crazy. She had overcome many obstacles in her lifetime: the paralysis in her youth, speech and physical therapy, marriage at a young age, moving away from her family, friends and home state of Minnesota, birthing nine children — all at home — and raising them with the use of only one hand; an eventual divorce, living on her own and the eventual deterioration of her body to the point of being confined to a wheelchair. Still, she remained jovial. She maintained a relationship with Leo, and enjoyed his company until his passing in 2004. She also had several long and special friendships over her lifetime, especially with her niece, Carol Colemier. Peggy West is preceded in death by her parents, Claude Newton West, and Leona Agnus (LeVasseur) West; brother-in-law, Richard Colemier, and former husband, Leo Edward Ryan. She is survived by her nine children and their spouses: Dianne (Ryan) and Craig Burch, Minn., three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; Jan (Ryan) and Dan Moy of Hallstad, 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren; Mike Ryan of New Mexico; Debbie Ryan of Minnesota, two granddaughters and two great-grandsons; Rick Ryan of Minnesota, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; Vera (Ryan) and Richard Snow of California, seven grandchildren, one step great-granddaughter; Brenda (Ryan) and Dave Sim, three grandsons; Ami (Ryan) and Jason Bailey, three grandchildren, and Melanie (Ryan) and Matt Hoffer, two granddaughters, as well as one granddaughter and three great-grandchildren on the way. Peggy is also survived by her four siblings and their families: Sally (West) Colemier of Stillwater: Dick and Ruth West, White Bear Lake; Jerry and Barbara West, Anoka; and Don and Linda West, Sudlersville, Md., as well as survived by aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces and several in-laws. A private viewing was held at Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home in Fargo, N.D., and a tribute wall can be viewed and added to at www.HANSONRUNSVOLD.COM. Peggy will be laid to rest next to her former husband, Leo Edward Ryan, in Long Prairie, Minn., at a later date.

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