Mary Ryan

Obituary of Mary Elizabeth Ryan

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our mother, Mary Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Ryan, on March 27, 2024 at the age of 86.

Born in Summerside, PEI to Camille and Margaret (Arsenault) Gaudet, she was the 3rd of 8 children.  It was here that she met and married our dad, John Watters Ryan, and began her adventures as a military wife and mother. Over the next 25 years, they were posted to Quebec, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.  Mom was indeed the glue that held it all together as Dad had to travel for work, often being away for months at a time.  For this she deserves a medal and our lifetime appreciation!  She was always the one caring for all of us.  They retired from the military in 1976 and enjoyed many happy, healthy years as young retirees. 

Mom’s hands were never idle, and she was no girlie girl.  She could skin a rabbit, pluck a meat chicken, dig a bucket of clams and help cut and haul wood from their land with the best of them!  Their kitchen in the retirement house they built with their own hands was always warmed by a fire in the woodstove and filled with friends and family stopping by to socialize and enjoy a glass of homemade beer.

After Dad passed in 2020, Mom stayed on in their house in Digby and did some extended ‘trial’ visits to Reni’s house in Dartmouth.  We were finally successful in convincing her to move in permanently and to allow us to pamper her in her final years.   She was now immersed in a busy household and enjoyed constant companionship from family and friends as well as a full calendar of activities.  She was a regular at our Halloween gathering, wrapped in blankets, handing out candy on the car deck with all the neighbours.  She presided from her chair over the family Christmas preparations and celebrations each year and even got the lead role in the annual Christmas card.    Mom always had a lasting impact on everyone she met.

She leaves behind many friends and family who will miss her dearly.  Her daughters Vicki Ryan (Blaine) of Walton and Reni O’Flaherty (Ross) of Dartmouth; grandchildren Angela, Ryan, Sarah, Erin, Allison and Aiden; great grandchildren Brady, Connor, Jade and Alma and great-great granddaughter Raven.  She is also survived by her sisters Lorraine Logan, Marlene Carter and Sue Englund (Ole) as well as brothers Daryl Gaudet and Alex Gaudet (Debbie). 

Besides her parents, she is predeceased by her husband of 65 years, John Watters Ryan, son William Bruce Ryan, brother Arthur Gaudet and sister Gail Saulnier.

Mom has been cremated and per her and Dad’s wishes their ashes will be scattered together this summer during a celebration of life ceremony on their beloved Bay of Fundy. Memorial donatiuons may be made to the Digby Legion Branch 20. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, 34 Coldbrook Village Park Dr., Coldbrook, NS B4R 1B9 (902-679-2822).



Share Your Memory of