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Sylvia Jean Ryon, 64, of Bellevue, died Tuesday, Sept. 30 after a 26-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Born Dec. 29, 1943, in Inglewood, Calif., she earned a pilot’s license at age 14 and co-piloted a flight from California to Florida. As a young adult, she drafted designs for California freeway exits, helped the TRW firm develop a power packet for the Mariner satellite that orbited Mars, and used early computers and demographics to locate sites for Taco Bell restaurants.
She married retailer Dick Ryon in 1968. When he switched to forest management, the two moved to the Seattle area, where she worked for Boeing as a data reductionist for military aircraft.
In 1978, the couple moved to Coos Bay, where she worked as a grocery and tax accountant, joined a multi-family housing association and created a database to track the area’s vacancy rate. She also volunteered with library book sales and a music festival.
The two returned to Bellevue in 1984. Stemming from Dick’s work for Weyerhaeuser in Snoqualmie, the two became among the largest contributors of time and resources to Children’s Services of Snoqualmie Valley, now Encompass.
As Sylvia’s disease progressed, she persevered with computing and supplemented associate degrees in anthropology and physics with a bachelor’s degree in computer management in 1993 from City University.
Her husband became her full-time caregiver in 1996. She chose removal from life support in early September. At her request, no service will be held. A memorial for her has been established at Encompass. She will be honored Nov. 1 at the organization’s Autumn Gala.