William Halsell Ryan

August 18, 1921 - September 10, 2015 

William Halsell Ryan

August 18, 1921 - September 10, 2015 

Obituary for William Halsell Ryan

Bill Ryan passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday afternoon, September 10, 2015.

Bill was born on August 18, 1921 in Prichard, Alabama, the son of William Halsell Ryan, a pharmacist, of Cuba, Alabama and Edith Tucker Ryan, a loving wife, mother and homemaker, of Thomasville, Alabama. A year later, the family moved to Greenville where Mr. Ryan, Sr., established Ryan Drug Company. On November 21, 1927, James Joseph Ryan became the fourth member of the family.

Bill graduated from Greenville High School in May, 1939 and enrolled in pharmacy school at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, in September, 1939. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Naval Reserve Midshipman’s School program. After graduating from API in August, 1943, Bill began officer training at the University of Notre Dame in September where he received his commission in January, 1944.

Bill was assigned to the USS Feland, a troop transport ship which was a component of the Pacific Fleet. Among his duties, he served as the officer in charge of an LCVP landing crew for beach assaults. During the next 20 months, Bill participated in landings at Leyte and Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines and later in the landings at Iwo Jima. Following the conclusion of the war, Bill remained on active duty until January, 1946 when he received his honorable discharge.

Upon returning to Greenville in 1946, Bill joined his father at Ryan Drug Company where he worked as a pharmacist for 35 years. On September 26, 1946, he and Olga Lee of Selma, Alabama were married in her parents’ home. They raised three sons and a daughter, were active participants in the Greenville and later Selma communities and enjoyed 68 years of marriage until her death in December, 2014. Bill was a member of several civic and professional organizations including The Rotary Club and Boy Scouts of America and was a founding member of Woodland Heights Methodist Church.

Bill is survived by his sons William Halsell (Janice) Ryan, III, M.D., Allen Lee Ryan and Edward Tabb (Katrina) Ryan, his daughter Lee Ryan (John) Donald, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Services will be held at Woodland Heights Methodist Church at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 13, 2015 in Greenville, Alabama with Rev. Joe Lisenby officiating and Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home directing. Interment will follow in Magnolia Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church beginning at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Woodland Heights, World War II Memorial Fund or to church or charity organization of your choice.

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