Current Issue

Mar.17, 2010

Vol. 110, No. 10


William James Ryan II ’47

Published in the Mar.17, 2010, issue

Bill served in the Marine Corps in World War II and was a “Semper Fi” guy throughout his life — loyal to the corps and the virtues of integrity, good humor, and service to others. Loyalty also marked his career with the DuPont Co., which he served throughout his professional life in many managerial positions.

He married his beloved Betty Ann Jackson in 1950, and together they raised four children and nurtured 12 grandchildren. Bill imbued his great love of sports and sportsmanship in his children and grandchildren. They in turn celebrated him as a treasured role model.

Bill read literature at Princeton and continued reading until blindness denied him this pleasure. One of his favorite books was The Greatest Generation, and indeed he epitomized the qualities Tom Brokaw celebrated.

Last but hardly least, Bill loved Princeton and was loyal to our class until the end. As he lay near death, a close friend sang with all the gusto he could muster the Princeton fight song — a treat that brought a warm smile from Bill. He died shortly thereafter on Aug. 9, 2009.

We celebrate the honorable life of this “straight-arrow,” good-humored, loyal classmate, and send our very warm wishes to Betty Ann and the family.

The Class of 1947

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