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Kevin Joseph Ryan, R'1953

Born: September 20, 1932

St. Joseph's Class: Rhetoric 1953

Died: April 7, 2010

Kevin Joseph Ryan Consummate raconteur, uncle, arbiter, tenor and friend, has died, April 7, 2010, from pancreatic cancer at the UCSF Medical Center. All who loved him should take comfort in the knowledge that the nurses, doctors, and staff of UCSF took exceptional care of him.

A native San Franciscan, born on September 20, 1932 in the Mission District to Josephine and John Ryan, of Ballinure, County Tipperary, Ireland, Kevin was the youngest sibling to Kay, Jack, Josephine, Gerald, Billy, Helen, Donald, and Patrick. He leaves behind many heart-sore nieces and nephews and legions of men and women proud to count him as true friend.

He attended Sacred Heart High School in SF, followed by St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, later becoming Vice President of the seminary's Board of Governors of the Alumni Association, and USF Law School.

Kevin Ryan worked for the Teamsters Union Local 856 as a labor official and organizer for 32 years, single-handedly organizing over 600 front desk and clerical hotel industry workers. After retirement Kevin continued to offer his wisdom and dry wit adjudicating for union grievance hearings, a good lunch and stimulating conversation being his agreed compensation. A fine obituary of him appears on the Teamster's website.

Working his quiet and persistent diplomacy within his family, Kevin took the same spirit of equanimity to the larger world. All friends of Bill W. were his friends for more than 30 years with many crediting him with having saved their lives by his example and active kindness. His heart held the largest room for those still suffering. He loved animals, especially dogs, and most especially his own beloved tail-waggers, Abner and Josie.

He was a prodigious reader, with a diet of eight newspapers a day and the count lost on books read and sent to family and friends. He was a deep thinker, an unstoppable talker, a quiet but powerful helper, with a rich voice, and a man made rich by his acceptance of life and appreciation of its desserts. He is mightily missed by all who knew him.

A Rosary was said for Kevin at St. Boniface Church 133 Golden Gate Avenue SF CA on Friday, May 7, 2010 at 7pm. A Mass was celebrated in his honor, with Kevin's fellow Latin choir "Schola" members singing as part of the service, at Sts Peter and Paul Church 666 Filbert Street, SF, CA on May 8, 2010. A Rosary was also recited. Donations in Kevin's honor can be made to St. Martin de Porres House: or SPCA:

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on April 18, 2010