GCN ARCHIVES 1948-2005)--Services Held For John J. Ryan Gloucester City News Employee (September 1, 1988)
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Services Held For John J. Ryan Gloucester City News Employee
by William E. Cleary, Sr., Editor & Publisher
Published in the Gloucester City News on September 1, 1988
John J. Ryan, Jr., a veteran, a pilot, a journalist and a friend to many, died from cancer after a short illness, on Tuesday, August 23, 1988 at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden.
Mr. Ryan, age 71, was a feature writer, photographer and advertising manager for the Gloucester City News from 1981 until the present. He was responsible for putting together the special editions and articles that appeared periodically saluting various local people and organizations. Likewise, on a weekly basis, he serviced and prepared the advertisements for 30 accounts of the newspaper.
“Without a doubt the Gloucester City News will miss John Ryan,” said Bill Cleary, editor and publisher."
“John was a true journalist in every sense of the word. He gave you 110 percent on every story he wrote and every ad he prepared. He was such a well-versed journalist that I often relied on him as my mentor."
“For example,” Cleary says, “while visiting him at the hospital four days before he died, John, in a lot of pain, whispers, “Bill, there is a mistake on one of the ads in this week’s paper. Talk to the customer and smooth things over before he sees it.”
“But that is insignificant now compared to the loss that I, along with all of us that knew him, feel inside, now that John is gone. I was proud to know him as a person and a friend. He was quiet, yet his smile and his charm would warm the innards of your heart."
Cleary added, “John is at peace now, and I know if there is a newspaper in Heaven, he is already sitting at a typewriter working on the next edition.”
Mr. Ryan, of Audubon, was native of Philadelphia and a 1935 graduate of Audubon High School. From 1935 to 1938, he worked in the employment department of the Campbell Soup Co. in Camden. At the same time he attended evening classes at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School studying journalism.
From 1939 until the outbreak of World War II he was the editor of the Bi-Town Orator, a weekly newspaper that serviced the communities of Audubon and Oaklyn.
He was a World War II B-17 and B-24 pilot with the 44th Bomber Group, 8th Air Force. He also did public relations for the Bomber Group that included booklets on the Trolley Missions and bombing runs made by the 44th over Northern Europe. During the Korean War, he was editor of the Pacific edition of Stars and Stripes. He also served as a public affairs officer at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts.
Following his discharge from the military in the mid-1950’s, Mr. Ryan worked for the Springfield Daily News and the Holyoke Daily Transcript, both in Massachusetts. He later founded and started his own weekly newspaper, The Yankee Flyer, for the Westover Air Force Base in Westover, Mass.
Mr. Ryan then moved with his family to California, where he worked for the Brawley News and then served as managing editor of the Imperial Valley Press in El Centro. When he returned to South Jersey in 1980 he worked as a freelance writer for the Bulletin before coming with the Gloucester City News.
Mr. Ryan was a member of the Townsend C. Young VFW Post 3620, of Gloucester City. He was also a member of the Moose and Elk Lodges in North Wildwood.
Surviving are six sons, Army Col. Richard R. of Fort Mead, Md., Dennis M., David C. and Paul, all of San Diego, Calif., John L. of Escondido, Calif., and Terrence of Augusta, Ga.; three daughters, Kathleen of San Francisco, Patricia Wessinger of North Wales, Pa, and Eileen of San Diego.
Also survived by a brother, William of Oaklyn; a sister Agnes Van Horn of Toms River; six grandchildren and dear friend, Edyth Babnew of Audubon.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered at St. Mary’s Church, Gloucester City on Saturday, August 27. Interment was in the veterans’ Garden of Honor, Harleigh Cemetery, Camden.