Age 87, of Scituate, died peacefully October 6, 2022 after a period of declining health. Son of the late William J. and Rita Scott Ryan, he was born and educated in Milford, MA, but spent most of his life in Scituate.
He is survived by his wife of fifty years, Susan Castleton Ryan, Esq.; his brother James S. Church of Fairbanks, Alaska; his sister-in-law Nancy E. Boccia and her husband Carlo Boccia of Eastham, MA; his cousin William Rowe, III of Milford; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He also loved dogs and throughout his life he always had one or two. He leaves behind his Bearded Collie, Molly, whom he adored.
Bill was a proud veteran of the United States Navy, joining at age seventeen and serving on the USS Cowell during the Korean War. One of his fondest and proudest moments was crossing the Equator on February 3, 1953.
Bill was a proud Mason, having achieved the status of a 32nd Degree Mason. Bill had an inquisitive mind and was always the “go to” technology guy, beginning in the early 80’s when he discovered and built his own computers. Under his tutelage, he inspired many friends of the family to embark on technology careers of their own. At the age of 50, Bill decided it was time to go to college and he enrolled in Massasoit Community College, where he excelled, was always on the Dean’s List and was awarded an Associate’s degree.
He loved Scituate, the ocean, sailing, the beach and golf courses. While some would call him a Renaissance man, a raconteur and a collector of many items, Bill was a “people person” and could and did charm almost anyone. He spent the majority of his adulthood bartending at the Red Lion Inn in Cohasset, where he regaled patrons with songs, jokes and good-natured fun. The musicians and actors from the South Shore Music Circus loved his stories and songs a great deal. On one occasion, much to his great delight, he was invited to join the Clancy Brothers on stage.
Bill loved sailing and together with his best friend, Irwin Cone, he took courses in celestial navigation, often sailing by the stars from Cohasset to Marblehead and back. He loved traveling and his yearly trips to the various Caribbean Islands were a welcomed respite from the cold. His favorite trip was three weeks spent in Paris in the late 1980’s, immersing himself in the culture and exploring the underground cities and Les Invalides. He experienced Bastille Day and his happy memories of the people, food, history and local French culture stayed with him forever.
He was an avid reader, storyteller, raconteur and a lover of Irish songs. He was a familiar face at the Scituate Library, collecting many books of myriad genres and topics on a weekly basis. He especially loved reading about cowboys and the Wild West. Gene Autry’s songs were always playing in Bill’s car. It was no surprise to anyone when he became enthralled with “cowboy shooting,” spending weekends with kindred minds, dressing and traveling back in time to reenact scenes and activities. For many years he traveled to New Hampshire with members of GOAL and the various local Rod and Gun Clubs.
Bill Ryan lived a long, full life. When you think of him, remember him in his white dinner jacket, opening the doors of his home and welcoming you in for a good time and perhaps a song or two.
Visitation at Richardson-Gaffey Funeral Home, 382 First Parish Road, SCITUATE, on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 from 4-8 PM, with a Masonic service at 6 PM. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. For online guestbook,
Richardson-Gaffey Funeral Home