Cover photo for James P. Ryan Jr.'s Obituary
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1945 James P. Ryan Jr. 2024

James P. Ryan Jr.

September 19, 1945 — May 4, 2024

Columbus, Ohio

James Patrick Ryan Jr. (September 19, 1945 – May 4, 2024)


James “Jim” Patrick Ryan Jr., aged 78, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully on May 4, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio surrounded by his loved ones at Kobacker House following a brave battle with lung cancer.


Jim’s early years were spent living all over the world following his father James Patrick Ryan Sr.’s military career, along with his mother Elizabeth Jane Ryan, (née Ray), and his siblings, David (Carol), Lois (Billy), Dorothy (Stephen), Sheila, and Paul (Larry).


Jim followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the United States Army in 1964. He served during the Vietnam War where he was stationed primarily in Turkey with the military occupational specialty of communications interceptor analyst. He achieved the rank of specialist 5. Jim was proud of his military background and had many fond memories of his time in the service that he shared with his family.


Following his honorable discharge from the army, he moved back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he met his wife Diana June Ryan (née Garfold), in 1968. After six months of dating, they were engaged and married on September 7, 1968. They enjoyed a beautiful 56 years together and had three sons, Eric (Laura), Keith (Nichole), and Shawn (Jen). They resided in Beaver, Pennsylvania until 1986, when they relocated to Columbus, Ohio. Throughout his life, he and Diana enjoyed their worldwide travels with family, including Anthony and Joy Garfold, Joan and Paul Kohlmeyer, George and Anna Gidias, and Georgie Gidias.


Jim, a lifelong learner, had three degrees, an associate degree in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University, which he advanced to a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Geneva College. He had a long career as a chemical engineer, where he specialized in custom chemical-resistant mortars used in manufacturing facilities.


He was always the smartest guy in the room and was constantly picking up new projects. Later in life, he dabbled in painting, woodcarving, and scuba diving. He was also an avid winemaker who bottled his own specialty wines, his pride and joy being his green apple Riesling, which was made with apples from the tree in his backyard. He was a video game and technology enthusiast and also enjoyed photography and video production. He loved being surrounded by family, and always made time for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, who knew him as “Papap”, Abbie (Tyler), Brennan, Alisha, Paige, Lily, Zach, and Amelia.


Jim is preceded in death by his father James and his mother Elizabeth. His memory is honored and kept alive by his wife, Diana, and their large, loving family.


A service to celebrate his life will be held from 10 am - 1:00 pm on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the FREYVOGEL - SLATER FUNERAL DIRECTORS, (412-835-1860) 112 Fort Couch Rd., Bethel Park 15241 (opposite Macy’s, South Hills Village). Entombment will follow at 2 pm at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery with full military funeral honors in McMurray, Pennsylvania.


Jim lived a life full of joy and laughter. He was a gentle soul who made everyone around him feel welcome and loved. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, but his memory will carry on in our hearts for many years to come.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James P. Ryan Jr., please visit our flower store.


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