The family of Peter Ryan, want the world to know he has moved on to his next adventure. He packed a lot into his 91 years and after a short illness, he passed away on February 28th at Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville. For over 50 years he called New Minas and then Kentville his home.
Born in Cowdenbeath, Scotland to Rebecca and Peter Ryan, Peter was a shy boy due to his stutter. Through speech therapy, he developed his talent as a singer, a passion he carried throughout his life. He left school early to apprentice as a painter, until discovering that he was allergic to the chemicals in the paint. He then worked in a jute mill and on several farms before making the momentous decision to immigrate to Canada as a young man. In the summer of 1957, along with his lifelong friends- the Cruickshanks, Lindsays and Sharkeys, he took the long Atlantic crossing by ship, eventually settling in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. Peter found work on farms in Delhaven, Pereaux and Port Williams prior to working at Valley Lanes Bowling Alley, a job he held until retirement. Not one to be idle, he spent many seasons picking strawberries, blueberries and apples for local farmers.
A social man, Peter had friends and acquaintances everywhere and you could never go anywhere without running into someone he knew! His bowling circuit took him all over Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New England with the Apple Kings, collecting trophies, memories and yes- more friends! He shared his love for bowling with the young and old, teaching what he would call the proper technique. He was a talented bowler, enthusiastic golfer and passionate Scottish Country Dancer, and remained physically active well into his late 80s. For many years he was a mainstay at the local Annual Robbie Burns Night.
Peter was always up for a challenge and in 1968, he married Mary Ann Wells, a widow with seven young children whom he adopted, adding an eighth the following year. He took on this task with enthusiasm, introducing us to all the local beaches and great camping sites in Cape Breton and Newfoundland, as well as cheering on the kids at the summer Highland Games. Peter was never idle- a trait that was present right to the end.
Peter was fiercely independent and was lovingly supported by the friends, neighbors, family and complete strangers in later years. He spent his final 2 years at Orchard Court in Kentville and found his way into the hearts of the staff and residents. We are very thankful for all the love, kindness and support Peter received. It takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to support our elderly in maintaining their dignity and sense of purpose.
Peter is survived by children, Willie Wells (Janet), Lunenburg; Mary Ann (Glenn), Toronto, ON; Wendy (Neal), Baxters Harbour; Maggie (Philip), Wolfville; Kitty (Duke), West Hartford, CT; Ann (John), Kalamazoo, MI; Chris (Kevin), Etobicoke, ON, and Molly (Andrew), Tampa, FL; seventeen grandchildren; nineteen great grandchildren; his sister, Molly, Blairgowrie, Scotland, and many nieces and nephews and their families.
He was predeceased by his former wife, Mary Ann; parents, Rebecca and Peter; twin brother, David in infancy; sisters, Cathy, Rena and Becky; nephew, Bill and nieces, Linda and Jacqueline, and chosen brother, Bill Lindsay.
Cremation has taken place and celebration of life for family and close friends will take place in the summer. Peter was not only a doer, but a giver as well. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Fundy Foodbank, one of his passion projects, or the charity of your choice.
he lives in bliss;
If there is none,
he made the best of this.”