Gary Ryley
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Ryley, Gary
March 4, 2012

Gary Ryley of Sarasota, Fla. passed away at VA Bay Pines Hospital just three months short of his 63 birthday. His spirit remained strong throughout his battle with cancer and the Lord called him home. Gary moved to Sarasota from Connecticut in 1957. He graduated from Riverview High School in 1967 and left to join the Navy. Gary was trained as a corpsman and traveled the world giving medical assistance to his shipmates. Gary received an honorable discharge from the Navy and went to work for Eckerd Drugs as manager for the next 20 years.
Eventually, he left to follow his true passion--being a musician. His lifelong love for the guitar and the blues made him a driving force in many bands throughout south Florida. He was a much -loved player and will be sorely missed by both fans and bandmates in "The Alternators Blues Band" and "Missing Links".
His only love greater than music was the love he felt for his family. He is survived by his loving partner Karen, daughter Jennifer, brother Bob and family (Claudia, Robert and Christopher), and dogs Jake and Elwood. Extended family Kasey and Suzzi O'Donnell, Kym O'Donnell and Joe Griffith, and Scott and Priscilla Myers.
A Celebration of Life Music jam will take place at the Flying Dog Cafe, 500 Tallevast Rd. in Sarasota, April 11 from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. RSVP to In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Southeastern Guide Dogs--Paws for Patriots, 4210 77th St, Palmetto, FL 34221, or Please specify Gary's name if donating. With enough funds, we'll be able to name the guide dog after him.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Herald Tribune from Mar. 18 to Mar. 19, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
April 13, 2012
We miss Gary at O'Leary's... that was so much fun.. still is, but not the same...

Great to see so many who loved him (still do!) at The Flying Dog on Wednesday (04/11/12) night...

RIP, Gary... we miss you! Hugs to Karen...

Judy and Gary, Kathy and Cap, Steve and Laura
April 11, 2012
We will miss seeing Gary in the neighborhood. He was a good man and a fine musician. Our sincere condolences.

Adam and Regina Tebrugge
April 3, 2012
I was saddened to find out of Gary's passing. I knew of his illness. Gary had a very positive spirit, and had a great feeling for the blues. He extended himself to me, being new in Sarasota, and we had some great nights at O'Leary's. He had a great ear, and we traded riffs that were right up there. I'll miss you.
--Al Miller, Chicago and Sarasota.
Al Miller
March 31, 2012
Our hearts are breaking in the loss of Gary. We were so happy for Karen when she found such a wonderful man to share her life with. We met Gary's lovely daughter Jennifer at Kasey & Suzzi's wedding but never had the pleasure of meeting sweet & talented Gary. Oh, but the great things we heard about him! Rest in peace, Gary. Love, your O'Donnell family in Cincinnati
Kathy Asmuth
March 23, 2012
My dad was the most caring, loving person...and such a great influence...I am the woman I am today because of everything he taught me.
Jennifer Ryley
March 21, 2012
Our heartfelt Sympathy on Gary's passing. Joyce and Tom Matusek
joyce matusek
March 19, 2012
You will always live in our hearts and prayers.
Penny & Marshall SunTrust Bank
March 19, 2012
Because of one person, many lives are touched and because of Gary, my husband and I have been blessed to know Karen and her family. I have known Gary for 40 years and that time has gone by far too fast. Our thoughts are with Jennifer, Karen and her family, Bob and Claudia and their family. Let us all cherish Gary's memory and let it live on.
Priscilla Myers
March 19, 2012
We've been friends with Gary since high school. In his own quiet way he sparkled with his love, kindness and compassion for all his friends, family and pets. We will all miss his sweet smile and the great sounds of his guitar. Rest in Peace Gary. We love you.
Dee & Dave Halpern
March 18, 2012
I was so lucky to have a man like Gary in my life. I know that he is waiting for me with Gamble, Prissy, and Marsha Brady at his side. I miss you like crazy.
Your Kare-Bear.
Karen O'Donnell
March 18, 2012
To my cousin Karen and all of Gary's family. I only met Gary as my mother was in hospice, but what a great guy he was. I am glad Karen that you found such a great guy. I know he will be truly missed and but his memory will go on forever. I know he is with mom now, as she thought he was so wonderful. They are singing in heaven with the rest of the choir. My thoughts are with you all. Rest in peace, Gary.
JoAnn Chamberlain
March 18, 2012
I Just found out this afternoon, trying to make a connection w/ the Alternators. I only knew him for 3 1/2 yrs.As a "snowbird" he ALWAYS made me welcome! Let me sit in for a set or two @ Farlows, even tho I waspretty much a newbie toplaying blues.Gave me many helpful hints! I am very grateful for having him in my music life.
DYNAMIC DICK ....75 yr old harp player
March 18, 2012
Gary and Bobby were two of the nicest guys at RHS. I remember that he was always so calm and so funny! He and my brother Steve were good friends. Words cannot really fill the void of loss and yet there is comfort in knowing that he is with the Lord.
Rest in peace, Gary.

Becky Gordon Gabriel Sarasota, Florida
March 18, 2012
To the Ryley family. My sincere condolence on your loss. I remember Gary from our high school years. He was a very nice young man. I had always wanted to go and listen to him, we were trying to get a group together and never did. I wish we had. My thoughts are with you,
Mary Svingen-Gorrell
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