James Ray Ryan Sr., lovingly known as Jim to his friends, was born on November 8, 1948, in Salem, Illinois. He was a beloved son, devoted father, and a true family man who loved his kin with all his heart. Jim's life was a testament to love, sacrifice, and dedication. A funeral service will be held at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 Hwy 277 South. Interment will follow in Elmwood Memorial Park.
After completing his education, Jim embarked on a journey of service to his country. He joined the Army and fearlessly served in the Vietnam War, displaying bravery and honor throughout his military career. During this time, he found solace and strength in the arms of his beloved wife, Kay Ryan. Their bond was forged in the face of separation and uncertainty, a testament to their unwavering commitment to each other.
Jim's love extended beyond his immediate family, as he became an active member of the VFW and American Legion Post 57. His dedication to his fellow veterans was unwavering, and he found fulfillment in supporting and connecting with his comrades. Jim's service in the military and his involvement in veteran organizations showcased his compassion and selflessness.
Following his military service, Jim worked as a supervisor for Pride Refinery, utilizing his skills and expertise to contribute to his community. Later in his career, he transitioned to the City of Abilene's Water Department, continuing his commitment to public service. Jim's work ethic and dedication were unwavering, leaving a lasting impact on those he worked with.
Jim leaves behind a legacy of love and devotion, felt by all those fortunate enough to have been part of his life. He is survived by his two loving sons, James Ryan Jr. (Gail Wilkie) and David Ryan (Chrissy Ryan). They were the lights of his life and the source of his immense pride. Jim's grandchildren, Alexander Ryan, Kayla Rodriguez, Brandon Ryan, Kaylee Ryan, Madison Cogburn, and Hunter Sibert brought him immeasurable joy and filled his days with love and laughter. The arrival of his great-grandchild, Abigail Delacruz, further enriched his life and brought him an indescribable sense of joy and wonder.
Jim is also survived by his brother, Billy Ryan. Additionally, he leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a wide circle of friends whose lives were touched by his warmth, kindness, and unwavering presence.
Jim is now reunited with his parents, Albert and Dorothy Ryan, whose love and guidance helped shape the man he became. He is also joined in eternal peace by his first wife, Kay Ryan, whose memory he carried with him every day. Furthermore, he was preceded in death by his second wife, Tina Ryan, and his dear brother, Corky Ryan.
As we gather to honor the remarkable life of James Ray Ryan Sr., let us remember his unwavering love, his selfless dedication to family and country, and his genuine kindness. Jim's legacy will forever be etched in our hearts, and though he may no longer be physically present, his spirit will continue to guide and inspire us.