Cover photo for James Edward Ryan's Obituary
James Edward Ryan Profile Photo

James Edward Ryan

October 31, 1933 — January 23, 2024


James Edward Ryan


James Edward Ryan, age 90, passed away on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at the Medway Country Manor in Medway, Massachusetts. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 31, 1933, he was the son of the late Raymond and Esther (Hilchey) Ryan. James was raised in Foxborough, Massachusetts where he graduated from Foxborough High School with the class of 1951.

Following his graduation, James enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly serving his country during the Korean War. James served aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, assisting with aircraft mechanics and earning the National Defense Service Ribbon as well as the Navy European Occupation Service Ribbon. As an Aviation Hand, James was responsible for the upkeep of a multitude of seaplanes and other aircrafts; maintaining the various mechanical and electrical systems, preparing them for flight and tending to them upon return, ensuring that his fellow servicemen were equipped and prepared for anything while in the air.

Upon return to civilian life, James took some of the knowledge he gained during his time in the Navy to begin a career as an electrician. While he enjoyed his time working the trade, James realized he wanted more, and returned to his education by taking night classes at Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. 

James married the love of his life, Jean M. (Kenny), on May 30, 1963, at the Sacred Heart Church in Roslindale, Massachusetts, before setting sail on a cruise to Bermuda for their honeymoon. The couple made their married home in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts before growing their family and moving to Medfield, Massachusetts in 1973. Medfield was a welcome community for the new family and James found friends and faith at the Saint Edward the Confessor Church. In the late 1970's, Saint Edward's had a growing congregation, but not enough room to grow in, so a decision was made by the Archdiocese to build a new church on Spring Street. With a love for his faith community, and his professional skills, James sat on the building committee, ensuring that love and technical standards were present with every decision made.

James' degree opened many professional doors for him, including at Sam Zax and Associates, and Keyes Associates in Waltham. While at Keyes, James undertook the electrical design work for Brown University, bringing buildings up to code and ensuring that the campus' systems could meet the growing demands of the faculty and student populations. James remained with Keyes until his retirement in 2004, after which he served as a consultant for Brown University, assisting as needed with the systems and plans he had painstakingly put together.

In James' free time, he enjoyed tee-time on the links, getting in as many rounds of golf with friends as weather would allow. James also continued to give back to his community of Medfield, serving on the board for the Medfield Housing Authority, ensuring that the tenants needs were met and improvements were made for the units. In 2018, James and Jean moved to Franklin, Massachusetts, but they still kept in close touch with the friends they had made in their Medfield Community. The couple loved to travel, visiting destinations such as Rome, Ireland, Italy, Hawaii, Alaska, and Germany, often with family or friends that they made in Medfield and through their faith at Saint Edward's. James and Jean especially loved Viking Cruises, journeying down the Rhine River, through the Panama Canal, and repeating their honeymoon cruise to Bermuda in 2011. 

Beloved husband of Jean M. Ryan

Loving father of Eileen M. Bianchi, and her husband Scott, of Franklin, James E. Ryan Jr. of North Attleborough, Christopher J. Ryan, and his wife Shelley, of Litchfield, New Hampshire, and Kenneth T. Ryan, and his wife Susan, of Duxbury.

Cherished grandfather of Ryan Bianchi, Shannon Scheetz and her husband Carter, Elizabeth Ryan, Olivia Moore and her husband Kevin, Cole Ryan, Sydney Ryan, Sean Ryan, Molly Ryan, Maeve Ryan, and Paige Ryan.

Brother of Daniel Ryan, Kathleen Ryan, the late Thomas Ryan, and the late William Ryan.

Also survived by many nieces, nephews, extended family members, and friends.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend James' Life Celebration on Friday, January 26th, 2024 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Saint Edward the Confessor Church, 133 Spring Street, Medfield, Massachusetts 02052 on Saturday, January 27th, 2024, at 10:00 am.  Interment will follow at the Vine Lake Cemetery in Medfield.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in James' name may be made to American Cancer Society at 3 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 or by visiting

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Edward Ryan, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Life Celebration

Friday, January 26, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home

48 Common St, Walpole, MA 02081

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, January 27, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Saint Edward the Confessor Church

133 Spring Street, Medfield, MA 02052

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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