Leonard Francis RYAN
1923 - 2021
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RYAN, Leonard Francis January 29, 1923 - May 9, 2021 The aches, pains and disabilities associated with growing old, coupled with the challenges of dementia came to an end for Len when he decided enough was enough. He left this world peacefully in his sleep. Len was predeceased by his wife Margaret, his children, Carolyn Archibald, Michael Ryan, Cathy Pinsent, Tim Ryan, Jaqueline Ryan and Grandson Scott Hill. Left with memories of Len are his son Rick Ryan (Deb), daughters, Patricia Harvey and Roberta McCoy, as well as 11 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and 1 great, great grandchild. Born in Oshawa, Ontario; Len moved to Toronto as a child and remained in the metro area until he and his first wife, Jean Riddell, moved to Calgary to take a position with the YMCA. Together with Jean and three kids, he returned to Ontario, beginning work with the Kiwanis Boys Club. Another move took him to Truro, Nova Scotia, and in 1951 he relocated to Vancouver where he was employed by the Boys Clubs of Vancouver. In 1956 Len became the first director of the Hastings Community Centre and, at the same time became the Director of Camp Capilano, operated by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Public Recreation. Len continued to assume positions of increased responsibility, eventually becoming the Assistant Director of Recreation for the Vancouver Parks Board. He retired as the Deputy Director of Recreation and Manager of central recreation services. Len believed in giving back to his community. Professionally he was a Past President of the British Columbia Professional Recreation Society, British Columbia Recreation Association, BC Seniors Games and the British Columbia Camping Association. He also served on many Community Boards including the United Way of the Lower Mainland, Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, Vancouver Sea Festival, Northwest Parks and Recreation Association, and the Canadian Old Timers Hockey Association to which he was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Flame, to name just a few. Len served many years as an officer (Lieutenant) with the Navy League of Canada at HMCS Discovery. After retirement, Len was an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion serving as the President of Branch 118 for several years. Len had many talents. He was a competitive gymnast in his teens and early adulthood. His mother, an accomplished musician, taught him the piano (which he tickled the ivories but accepted he did not inherit his mother's natural talent) and was a reasonable harmonic player. While in Truro, he was the DJ host of a weekly dance broadcast live on local radio for young adults. As well, he had a weekly radio show related to giving advice to parents on rearing youth. Len was a lifelong learner. After retirement, he completed two more degrees from his Alma Mater, the University of Waterloo. The family appreciated and was grateful for the exemplary care provided to Len that was a hallmark of the professional staff at Lynn Valley Care Centre. The amazing staff demonstrated a caring, empathetic approach to meeting Len's needs for almost three and half years. They are outstanding people who always went far beyond the call of duty. The Covid pandemic has restricted a celebration of Life for Len. For those who wish to acknowledge his many years of professional and voluntary service to our community Len would have appreciated a donation made in his memory to the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC 2875 St George St. Vancouver, BC V5T 3R8.

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Published in North Shore News from May 12 to Jun. 11, 2021.
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May 12, 2021
Thank you Rick: reading Len's Life story brought back many memories of my decades working with Len in the Vancouver Park Board where I started out as a playground leader in the 50's, and over-nighting in Camp Capilano. Thanks to Len and Marsh, I had the opportunity to have a full career in Recreation, for which I shall for ever be grateful. There are many of us who owe a debt of gratitude to Len. He certainly lived a life devoted to "Serving". I'm sure you and your family have many good memories to console you in your loss.
Joslin Kobylka
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