Longtime Westporter and sports volunteer Jim Ryan died Monday. He was 76.
The Queens native was president of his Holy Cross High School class. After graduating from St John’s University, he began a career in accounting.
Jim lived here for nearly 50 years. His family was his pride and joy. He devoted his life to caring for his children, and was involved in their various activities. He was a soccer, basketball, and softball coach for years, and a past president of the Westport Soccer Association. His favorite teams were the New York Mets and Jets. He was also a longtime parishioner and supporter of St. Luke Church.
He is survived by his daughters Kim Constantino (Bill) of Westport; Kellie Ryan (Paul Ouimette) of Trumbull, and Kristin Beirne (Chris) of Fairfield; grandchildren Ashley and Kaitlyn Constantino, Ryan and Reese Ouimette, and Alexandra and Grayson Beirne; his former wife Joan Ryan of Westport, and brother Ed Ryan Jr. of Monroe. He was predeceased by his older sister Carol Ryan-Smith.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Monday (January 31, 4 to 7 p.m., Harding Funeral Home, Westport). A Mass of Christian burial will be held Tuesday (February 1, 10 a.m., St. Luke Church, Westport). Masks are required at both.
The Westport PAL Longshore Ice Rink may not be “natural” — but June Rose Whittaker calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” image “The Calm Before the Storm.” And there’s nothing like a threat from Mother Nature to make us both vigilant and appreciative of all that we have here.
And finally … David Mugar died Tuesday, at 82. You may not know the Boston businessman and philanthropist — but he’s the person who, in 1973, suggested to Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler that playing the “1812 Overture” — with fireworks, church bells and cannons — might reignite flagging interest in the orchestra’s annual July 4th concert on the Esplanade.
It did. Mugar produced the spectacular for the next 43 years.
THE JULY 4TH SYMPHONY IS SO STIRRING. WE AMERICANS SHOULD NEVER FORGET WHO WE ARE AND TREASURE IT