James S. Ryan

November 28, 2021
James S. Ryan

James Stanton Ryan, Jr. of Williamsburg, Virginia passed away on November 28, 2021 from complications due to COVID.  Jim was born on March 1, 1931 in Silver City, New Mexico, where he spent his entire childhood.  Jim left Silver City to attend the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated in 1953.  After graduation, he served in the Army for two years and was admitted to the Masters program in Hotel Management at Michigan State University.  While spending the summer of 1955 in Silver City, he met the love of his life, Nancy Coon.  They were engaged within three weeks of meeting one another and were married for almost 66 years.  After graduating from Michigan State in 1957, Jim held hotel management positions in Portland, Oregon and El Paso, Texas before becoming manager at The Murray Hotel in Silver City, NM.  After the Murray Hotel was sold, he joined the Fred Harvey Company and managed the historic Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque as well as La Fonda in Santa Fe.  Jim also spent time working for Fred Harvey in the Chicago area.  In 1971, Jim took a position with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  Jim held positions in hotel and restaurant management with Colonial Williamsburg for over 25 years.  Following retirement from Colonial Williamsburg, Jim managed the officers’ club at Camp Peary for several years.  Jim and Nancy have made their home in Williamsburg for over fifty years.

Jim was a great husband, father and grandfather.  He was especially proud of Nancy.  Jim is preceded in death by his parents, James Stanton Ryan and Lyda Murray Ryan, his sisters, Martha and Mary and his brother Murray.  He is survived by his wife, Nancy and their children Jim, III (Jane), Phil, Mark and Katie Ryan as well as six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Jim loved Notre Dame and Notre Dame football, golf and The Washington Football Club. Jim and Nancy were avid William and Mary basketball fans, holding season tickets for over 40 years.   In recent years Jim volunteered with FISH, Inc., the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center and the Muscarelle Museum of Art and was an active member of the Middle Plantation Club.  Jim attended St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg for over 50 years.

A memorial service for Jim will be held in March in Williamsburg.

Donations in Jim’s memory may be made to FISH, Inc. or the Muscarelle Museum.


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  • December 01, 2021
    Brenda Wilmer says:
    Jim - So sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. I understand - I too lost my mother this year. Prayers for you and your family.

  • December 01, 2021
    Rick and Joan Hagan says:
    Joan and I sat next to Jim for many years at William & Mary basketball games. He always had a smile on his face and something positive to stay. A true gentleman.

  • December 02, 2021
    Monica Messick says:
    Jim, I'm so deeply sorry for your loss of your father. I will be thinking of you.

  • December 08, 2021
    GARY W BROWN says:
    RIP my friend. I enjoyed our time working together at Colonial Williamsburg. Jim, you were a class act!