Cover photo for Bernard  P. Ryan's Obituary
Bernard  P. Ryan Profile Photo

Bernard P. Ryan

October 12, 1918 — June 2, 2014

Bernard P. Ryan


Bernard P. Ryan, 95, passed away on June 2, 2014 having been called home by God after completing his work on earth. He died at his home in Lansing overlooking Cayuga’s waters.

He was born on October 12, 1918 in Queens, NY to Thomas and Mary (Kenny) Ryan. He lost his mother when he was young, but grew up with four loving brothers, and later four additional siblings from his father’s remarriage.

As a young boy, Bernie was hard working. With his brothers, he delivered the Long Island Press to hundreds in their Rosedale neighborhood. At 13, he entered a national writing composition contest for grammar school boys. His topic on the baseball pennant races tied for first place and earned him a ticket to the 1932 world series and a photo with Babe Ruth which he treasured all of his life.

While he never became a baseball player or writer in life, he was always quick to take responsibility for his life. After high school and during the Great Depression, he entered the Civilian Conservation Corp. Later he joined the Army’s 10th Mountain Division and was sent to Italy during World War II. During his 20 year Army career he was also stationed in Korea and Germany. For most of his Army career he worked in finance and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer in 1961. He completed his baccalaureate degree at Long Island University. Following his retirement from the Army, he worked in accounting at the Bronx Zoo.

One of Bernie’s proudest accomplishments was moving his family to Ithaca in 1966. He was employed by Cornell’s College of Human Ecology for 20 years and served as the financial administrator for four deans. He greatly valued this opportunity and his coworkers at Cornell. He also grew fondly attached to the Ithaca community.

His children report that his greatest blessing in life was his marriage to Maria Amalia Sewald in Munich, Germany in 1949. As a young Bavarian bride, Maria would bring Bernie 65 years of happiness. He is also survived by his four children: Bernard Ryan, Dr. Marilyn (Jere Shertzer) Ryan, William (Theresa) Ryan, and Dr. Christopher (Deborah) Ryan. They also have six grandchildren. Bernie and his family attended St. Catherine of Siena, dating back to 1966 and their move to Ithaca.

Bernie lived a life of responsibility and commitment to his family and coworkers. He will be remembered as a quiet person who was always thankful for the blessings he received in life. To his children, he will be especially remembered for his quiet guidance, the examples he set, and his desire to let each one follow his own path.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 9am, Saturday, June 7, 2014, at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 302 St. Catherine Circle, Ithaca, NY, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery, Ithaca. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County, 172 E. King Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850.

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