Donald A. Ryberg, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and a life member of Post 8469 who joined in 1992, died of cancer April 30 at Fair Oaks Hospital with Post Surgeon Ed Ashley and his wife Gerry Ashley at Don's side. He was 93.
Don had been a popular member of the Post, taking part in monthly dinners, annual Christmas parties and Fourth of July celebrations, as well as computer programs, sharing tales with comrades about his long military and civilian careers that took
him and his wife Audree throughout the world.
Don will be interred with full military honors June 13 at Arlington National Cemetery after a 12:45 p.m. service at Fort Myer Chapel. A memorial mass, held May 23, at Historic St. Mary's Church was attended by Don's VPW comrades; who
conducted a service of tribute and presented Audree with an inscribed Bible.
Representing the Post were Commander Al Smith, Senior Vice Commander Ed Essertier, Quartermaster Joe Greenlee, Adjutant Bob Hickey, Surgeon Ed Ashley and his wife Gerry and daughter Kathy Ricker, Larry Larsen, Frank Spicer, Lynn
Mariano, Joe Buechel and Buck Shelton.
Don saw service in World War II and the Korean War. His first assignment was air traffic controller, and from there he was moved into intelligence training. He was a counter-intelligence agent and a detachment commander with General Headquarters, U.S. Army, FEC in Tokyo, Japan, and then returned to the U.S. to become an Office of Special Investigation agent and detachment commander. From there he was assigned to head the Psychological Warfare Intelligence School at the Pentagon and was an Air Force liaison officer to Naval Intelligence Service.
After he retired from the Air Force, Don and Audree, a former Air Force nurse, made an 18-month round-the-world trip that extended into the jungles of Borneo. He later spent 18 more years in Defense Intelligence as a civilian instructor at the Post Graduate Intelligence School in Anacostia, as well as photo interpreter for intelligence analyst for the China area. His awards included the National Defense Service Medal and the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.
He also was a proof reader and publisher of The National Pro-Life Journal, and financed the Virginia Association of Pro-Life Nurses, an educational organization.
Audree praised the Ashleys, calling them “two angels” for being at Don's side after she and her son Paul had stood vigil with him for many long days during his final illness.
Besides Audree, his wife of 41 years and his son Paul, Don is survived by another son, Jeffrey, and a granddaughter, Tabatha Ryberg.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard