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James Ryan

April 28, 1940 - January 14, 2019


Suddenly, on Monday January 14, 2019 James Patrick Ryan passed away at his home.


Jim is survived by his three sons Sean Ryan (Kate) of Edmonton, Alberta, Brennan Ryan (Carina) and Teague Ryan of Vancouver, British Columbia and brothers Keith and Herb Ryan. He was predeceased by his former wife, Lynne Ryan and sister Margaret Smith.

Cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held at 2:00 p.m,. Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 603 Wellington Crescent at Academy Road (Unitarian Church).


After burning the first one down, Jim grew up on the second family farm house just outside Winnipeg, in Rosser. He attended Gordon Bell High School and then graduated from the University of Manitoba with a bachelors of Education. He secured his first teaching job even before graduating and went on to teach for over 30 years, retiring in 1995.


Shortly after graduating, James married Lynne, who he had met through the United Church. They had three sons together: Sean (1970), Brennan (1974), and Teague (1976). Jim loved to travel and made multiple trips to Europe, visiting Ireland, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, the UK, and others. He also visited South America for his honeymoon and spent a year in the early 1980s in California with his family while Lynne obtained her PhD. During that year, he rented a house in South San Francisco and travelled with his family to the San Diego zoo, Disneyland, Death Valley, Lake Tahoe, Lava Beds National Monument, and many other interesting sites. After retiring, he travelled numerous times to Mexico to visit his Camp Wasaga friend, Fred Harland. 


Camp Wasaga was another great passion in Jim’s life. He first got involved in 1974 as a regular camper for a week, but by the next summer he and a few others were rotating as camp directors. This led to Jim becoming the full time regular camp director for Camp Wasaga. Being a school teacher, he had the whole camping season off work. In exchange for allowing his three sons to attend camp all summer with him, he agreed to volunteer his time as camp director, a position he held for over a decade. After finishing with ‘active duty’, Jim took more of a behind the scenes approach. He chaired the site committee, which oversaw the construction of the wash house with flush toilets in 1985 and the gradual replacement of all the old camper cabins. Jim was also the treasurer and chair of the board of directors for Camp for many years. These experiences led Jim to volunteer his time with the Manitoba Camping Association. As a part of the MCA, Jim helped to draft, educate, and enforce new camping standards across the province. 


Jim was also a singer. Anyone who heard him knows this. He made his start in the church choir but soon joined the Bison’s Men Choir. He sang in their Christmas concerts and the Choir produced a number of albums while he was a part of it. In retirement and throughout his whole life he continued to sing, as the staff and residents at the Waverly and Rosewood will tell you.


His family knew him as a kind, loving man, who was a dedicated father, teacher, camp director, singer, and much more.  He loved nature and music.  He was a talented curler and a frustrated golfer, but he enjoyed both immensely.  He touched many people's lives with his kindness and will be missed by everyone who met him.

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