Obituary: Ryan, S.J., Rev. William F.

RYAN, S.J., Rev.

William F. Fr.

Bill Ryan, SJ, died July 13, 2014, at the Jesuit Infirmary, Spokane.

He was 81.

A dedicated professor at Gonzaga University for nearly 40 years, Fr.

Ryan consistently challenged his students to seek meaningful answers to profound philosophical and theological questions; his classes were noted for depth of intellectual conversation and good natured humor.

The younger of two brothers, William Francis Ryan was born in Spokane on July 18, 1932, to Donald R. and Kathleen (Prindiville) Ryan.

He entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Sheridan, Oregon in August 1949 and followed the regular course of studies and training.


Ryan was ordained a priest on June 16, 1962, in Spokane.

Graduate studies in Philosophy took him to Europe; he earned a PhD from the Universitie de Louvain, Belgium, in 1971.


Ryan returned to Spokane in 1972 to teach Philosophy and Theology at Gonzaga University; his courses were immensely popular with students and the Jesuit seminarians studying for the priesthood.

He wrote and lectured extensively on noted scholars such as Bernard Lonergan, SJ, Edmund Husserl, and Victor Frankl; his curriculum vitae lists an extensive number of scholarly papers presented, books edited, and talks given.

In the last few years significant health issues compelled Fr.

Ryan to withdraw from the classroom and focus instead on his writing and research.


Ryan is survived by his older brother, James (Patricia) Ryan, two nieces, Susan Ryan-Osegueda and Julia Nell Hart, two grand- nephews and one grandniece, several cousins and his brother Jesuits of the Oregon Province.

He will be deeply missed by his colleagues, friends, and former students.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10am, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in St Aloysius Church.

A reception will follow in O’Malley Hall.

Inurnment will be at 1:30 pm the same day at the Oregon Province Columbarium, Mt.

St. Michaels Cemetery.

Contributions in honor of Fr.

Ryan may be sent to: The William F. Ryan, SJ, Memorial Lecture Series, c/o Gonzaga University (502 E. Boone Ave., Spokane, WA 99258), The Senior Fund, c/o The Oregon Province Society of Jesus (PO Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286), or Hospice of Spokane (PO Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210).


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