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Ambrose J. Ryan 1928 - 2014
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Greg - your eulogy was moving beyond belief. I had no idea that your Dad was dealing with PD. As a retired Professor of Neurology at Yale, I can fully understand the strength and courage it took to deal with everyday existence. I don't know if you were aware that in the early 60s, your Dad was our Biology professor. As I've already stated, he was unparalleled and I am not the least bit surprised by those aspects of his life, that you so eloquently detailed, that most of his former students would be unaware of. Over the years, I have thought of him often. He was inspirational, not just as a professor, but as a truly wonderful man. We were all so fortunate to have had him bless our lives.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Dear Peggy,
My heart goes out to you and your family
for your loss. I have not seen Amby in so
long, but I still remember Joanie, and I
sitting at the kitchen table and Amby helping us with science. He was such a
great guy. My prayers are with you all.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Eulogy for My Dad Ambrose Joseph Ryan

My father never complained. Not once during the 26 years of Parkinson's Disease eating away at his body did any of us hear him say, “Why me God? Why did you do this to me?” It started out slowly with some problems with his balance. I remember I used to go golfing with him and 10 years into the disease for the first time in my life I got to drive in a golf cart. (Prior to that he always insisted we walk with a pull cart). His decline was slow, but relentless. One year we could pull up to the ball and hit mostly terrible shots, but he would never fall and the next year he could not take a swing without tumbling to the ground. The next year he couldn't even go which made me sad, but he never complained. He was fiercely independent and wanted to walk himself or use his walker instead of using a wheelchair. We were in Ohio visiting Uncle Bob and Aunt Virg and took a side trip to the Cleveland Science Museum. He wanted to walk, but it was taking so long we insisted he take a wheelchair. Actually it started out great. In a wheelchair we could get him from place to place at a reasonable speed. He still used the walker at home for years, but gradually became more and more dependent on the wheelchair. The saddest part of this for me is not losing my father, but the fact that many of you only knew him as the frail old man in the wheelchair who we brought to so many soccer and basketball games. My father was so much more.
To the community he was a teacher. He taught every kid in Batavia who took chemistry from 1956 to 1991. He remembered every student and would recognize them, greet them by name and even remember where they sat in class even if he was meeting them 30 or 40 years later. He was a football coach. I never understood why school got out at 3pm, but my Dad never got home until 6pm until I started playing sports myself. He mostly coached freshman football for Batavia, but he also managed to coach 1 or 2 of my Little League Baseball teams and a YMCA Basketball team.
To the Village of Elba he was a volunteer Fireman who helped put out many a fire, worked at every Field day and played a mean short stop for the softball team. He served as trustee and then as Mayor of Elba for eight years which had many perks such as checking the chemicals at the sewer plant on Sundays (the fish were always biting) and being the Chief of Police for a non-existent police force (at least we got magazines with lots of cool guns and handcuffs and stuff).
He was a singer for many years with the Elba Elegants contributing his golden baritone voice to “Elba USA” at the sesquicentennial and a stand out male voice in the Our Lady of Fatima Church choir. Nothing said Christmas like a midnight mass with Dad and the Church Choir bellowing out “Fall on Your Knees” and the whole congregation thudding loudly as they fell down onto the kneelers.
He was a backyard touch football player with surprising speed for an old man in his 40's. A driveway basketball player with a decent jump shot, but usually would pass off to the open 10 year old who would heave it over the back board. He was a seal barking at night in our back yard pool. A pool which was always green and cloudy. Why a chemistry teacher could never keep the pool water clear I never fully understood. Some say he didn't want to expose us to too many chemicals and others said he was just cheap. We didn't care though, we loved it cloudy because we could hide and sneak up on each other when we played sharks. He was a renaissance man who from his days as a boy growing up during the depression and working on a farm could fix anything or build anything. Anything from plumbing to electrical work to carpentry he could do it. (Well pretty good anyway. There were times when in the Immortal words of Andy Griffith we would say “Aunt Bea. Call the man”.) He was a card player who taught us Poker, rummy and Tripoli and was a great Bridge player.
A loving husband (kept alive at; least for 5-10 years beyond what he would have lasted without his private nurse my mother), a dedicated father, a gentle, happy man. That was my father. He played bridge past the point when he could no longer hold onto the cards (my mother would hold them for him) until he could no longer see them. He continued to sing beyond the point when you could understand him talk and on the afternoon before he died after Laura his aid and I hoisted him into his electric recliner chair with a Hoyer lift, he tapped his feet and danced a jig to the Irish Rovers. Within a few hours he was dancing and singing for real with the many friends and relatives who were waiting to greet him at the gates of heaven.

Greg Ryan (3/18/2014)
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Eulogy for My Dad Ambrose Joseph Ryan

My father never complained. Not once during the 26 years of Parkinson's Disease eating away at his body did any of us hear him say, “Why me God? Why did you do this to me?” It started out slowly with some problems with his balance. I remember I used to go golfing with him and 10 years into the disease for the first time in my life I got to drive in a golf cart. (Prior to that he always insisted we walk with a pull cart). His decline was slow, but relentless. One year we could pull up to the ball and hit mostly terrible shots, but he would never fall and the next year he could not take a swing without tumbling to the ground. The next year he couldn't even go which made me sad, but he never complained. He was fiercely independent and wanted to walk himself or use his walker instead of using a wheelchair. We were in Ohio visiting Uncle Bob and Aunt Virg and took a side trip to the Cleveland Science Museum. He wanted to walk, but it was taking so long we insisted he take a wheelchair. Actually it started out great. In a wheelchair we could get him from place to place at a reasonable speed. He still used the walker at home for years, but gradually became more and more dependent on the wheelchair. The saddest part of this for me is not losing my father, but the fact that many of you only knew him as the frail old man in the wheelchair who we brought to so many soccer and basketball games. My father was so much more.
To the community he was a teacher. He taught every kid in Batavia who took chemistry from 1956 to 1991. He remembered every student and would recognize them, greet them by name and even remember where they sat in class even if he was meeting them 30 or 40 years later. He was a football coach. I never understood why school got out at 3pm, but my Dad never got home until 6pm until I started playing sports myself. He mostly coached freshman football for Batavia, but he also managed to coach 1 or 2 of my Little League Baseball teams and a YMCA Basketball team.
To the Village of Elba he was a volunteer Fireman who helped put out many a fire, worked at every Field day and played a mean short stop for the softball team. He served as trustee and then as Mayor of Elba for eight years which had many perks such as checking the chemicals at the sewer plant on Sundays (the fish were always biting) and being the Chief of Police for a non-existent police force (at least we got magazines with lots of cool guns and handcuffs and stuff).
He was a singer for many years with the Elba Elegants contributing his golden baritone voice to “Elba USA” at the sesquicentennial and a stand out male voice in the Our Lady of Fatima Church choir. Nothing said Christmas like a midnight mass with Dad and the Church Choir bellowing out “Fall on Your Knees” and the whole congregation thudding loudly as they fell down onto the kneelers.
He was a backyard touch football player with surprising speed for an old man in his 40's. A driveway basketball player with a decent jump shot, but usually would pass off to the open 10 year old who would heave it over the back board. He was a seal barking at night in our back yard pool. A pool which was always green and cloudy. Why a chemistry teacher could never keep the pool water clear I never fully understood. Some say he didn't want to expose us to too many chemicals and others said he was just cheap. We didn't care though, we loved it cloudy because we could hide and sneak up on each other when we played sharks. He was a renaissance man who from his days as a boy growing up during the depression and working on a farm could fix anything or build anything. Anything from plumbing to electrical work to carpentry he could do it. (Well pretty good anyway. There were times when in the Immortal words of Andy Griffith we would say “Aunt Bea. Call the man”.) He was a card player who taught us Poker, rummy and Tripoli and was a great Bridge player.
A loving husband (kept alive at; least for 5-10 years beyond what he would have lasted without his private nurse my mother), a dedicated father, a gentle, happy man. That was my father. He played bridge past the point when he could no longer hold onto the cards (my mother would hold them for him) until he could no longer see them. He continued to sing beyond the point when you could understand him talk and on the afternoon before he died after Laura his aid and I hoisted him into his electric recliner chair with a Hoyer lift, he tapped his feet and danced a jig to the Irish Rovers. Within a few hours he was dancing and singing for real with the many friends and relatives who were waiting to greet him at the gates of heaven.

Greg Ryan (3/18/2014)
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Greg, Marianm Ambrose, Martin & Deaglan,

We will all miss seeing your Dad/Grandpa at the soccer games. He will definitely be there in spirit, and the next goal you score, know that he helped!
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Ray and I offer our prayers and our sympathy to Peg and all the Ryan family for the loss of their dear Ambrose. Ray and Joan Gosselin
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Affectionately known by his students back in the Class of '65, 'Amble' broke my ankle during an intramural basketball game, but I forgave him as he was the most passionate, accessable, endearing and just plain friendliest professor I've ever had. Professor? Yes. He was better than anyone I had in college.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Ambrose was a wonderful grandfather and father-in-law. He had the kindest eyes and a wonderful singing voice. He was always interested in anything the kids were doing and was a great listener. I wish I had known him longer. I am so grateful that we were able to spend as much time with him and Peg as we did, us living so far away. We had many great summers and vacations with them that we will never forget. Peg, we love you and we know that Ambrose will always be with us.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I'm sorry to hear of Mr. Ryan's passing. He was a wonderful chemistry teacher and inspired me to persue a career in science.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Sorry to about Mr. Ryan. We'll miss seeing him at our annual get together. Our love and prayers are with you.
The Murphy's
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Greg, Marian, Ambrose, Martin, Deaglan, and the rest of the Ryan Family, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Thoughts and prayers to the Ryan family. I am very sorry for you loss. I enjoyed having him as a teacher and a coach.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
So sorry to hear of Mr Ryan's passing. I'll always remember his smile and his singing. As a kid I remember him singing O Holy Night at Midnight Mass. It was so moving. My thoughts & prayers are with the entire family during this difficult time.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Dear Peggy and family,
Please accept our sympathies and prayers for you. Ambrose was a great man beloved his family and friends.
Sincerely,
Genevieve Lepidi and family
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
My condolences to the Ryan family. To a great coach and teacher, thanks Mr Ryan.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
My sincerest condolences to the entire Ryan family. Mr. Ryan was a wonderful teacher. Sophomore chemistry 1985....
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Our sympathy and prayers for Mike, Mrs. Ryan and the entire Ryan family. We are very sorry for your loss and will really miss his visits down to Texas. - Francois, Marianne, Cecile Leclerc
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
A respected man with a tenured career, admirable marriage and well rounded life. Amby made chemistry as interesting as it could be and created a lasting reason for me to laugh with old friends 10/23. This years Mole Day will be a little somber but there will still be smiles.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time of loss. May Ambrose rest in peace.
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