Nina Roxanne Ryan. December 21, 1943 – March 31, 2022.
Nina’s life was a story she was constantly re-writing, full of tall tales. She was born in the winter of 1943 in the middle of a snowstorm on Governor’s Island, an indication to the woman who bore her of the mischief that lay ahead. Nina did not disappoint.
She wanted a big life, full of adventure. As a teenager, she rode a horse bareback in a bikini through the town of Copake, New York, emulating Lady Godiva to protest the cruelty of life as a teenager - lazy summer days? the world failing to carpe the diem? – Whatever it was, it was tremendously important at the time, or, perhaps it was just to drive the boys at the local summer camp crazy. It depends on whom she was telling the story to at the moment.
Nina wanted to be an archeologist, but was encouraged to follow a more traditional career path teaching school. She graduated from Long Island University with a degree in education and went on to teach elementary school in Port Chester for nine years. Undeterred, she spent her lunch breaks digging through local thrift shops for treasures and insights into the Homo Sapiens native to this Northeastern suburb. She taught school for nine years, during which time she met and married John Ryan, the love of her life, had two children, Brad and Samantha, and opened an antique shop, creating her own delightful suburban dig site.
In her 78 years on this planet, she swam around the island of Manhattan, rode bareback through the hills of Columbia County, flew a two-seater airplane and surfed with the infamous Murph the Surf, but what she will be most remembered for is the size of her heart. If she loved you, there was never a question about it. She and John were the first to open their home to a friend in need and had many long-term houseguests over the years. She loved animals and served as the President of the Board of the Sound Shore Human Society for many years.
Nina passed away on March 31, 2022 in much the same way she lived for the last 50 years, with the love of her life at her side rooting for her every step of the way. She is survived by her husband, John Ryan, 80, daughter Samantha Ryan of Rye, son Bradley Ryan of Port Chester, New York; Grandsons Ryan and Noah Antrim; her brother, Matthew Walt of Deerfield Beach, Florida, his wife Judy Walt; nieces and nephews, Rachel, Brian, Jen and Ann. In heaven, Nina joins her adoring parents, Marion and Irving Walt.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to the Humane Society of your choosing.
A memorial will be held at her daughter Samantha Ryan’s home, 1 Riverside View, Rye, New York, on Saturday, April 9th from 1-3 pm.
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