Elizabeth Dimock Ryan

Date of Birth

March 14, 1920

Date of Death

January 16, 2012

March 14, 1920 – January 16, 2012

Betsey Ryan, a long-time resident of Santa Barbara, died peacefully in her sleep at Serenity House after a brief illness. She was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She attended Bryn Mawr College and graduated from the University of New Mexico where she married William B. Ryan, an Army Air Force pilot in 1942. She later was a member of the first class of American Institute for Foreign Trade (now Thunderbird School of Global Management) in Glendale, Arizona and went on to earn a teaching degree at Fresno State University.

From the time of her arrival in 1966, Betsey was active both professionally and as a volunteer in the Santa Barbara region. She taught at the Laguna Blanca School from that year until 1970. She then was the founding principal and administrator at St. Paul’s School in Ventura, California where she served for nearly two decades.

Betsey was active in social causes and enjoyed volunteering for numerous organizations. She volunteered on a weekly basis for Recording for the Blind in Santa Barbara for three decades. She worked as a volunteer for Hospice in Santa Barbara, and was the first director for Operation Kids in Goleta. Betsey was active in the Episcopal church, serving as the first female Lay Eucharistic Minister at All Saints by the Sea. She was later a member in Isla Vista of St. Michael’s University Church, enjoying its close community of worship. She was often called upon to read during the services in both churches because of her beautiful reading voice.

Betsey was preceded in death by her husband, William B. Ryan. She is survived by her three sons and one daughter: Anthony B. Ryan of Oakland, California; Jordan D. Ryan of New York, New York; Benjamin B. Ryan of Santa Barbara and Sarah E. Ryan of Atlanta, Georgia; her sisters, Lucy D. Lieberfeld of New York City, and Emily D. Mattingly of Storrs, Connecticut; as well as two grandchildren, Nicholas S. Ryan of Atlanta, Georgia and Juliet D. Ryan and daughter-in-law Ching H. Ryan both of New York City.

Remembrances in lieu of flowers may be made to St. Michael’s University Church, Isla Vista; Serenity House of Santa Barbara or Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic of Santa Barbara, Planned Parenthood or Unicef. The family would like to thank the extraordinary staff at Serenity House for the kindness and compassion demonstrated in their loving care of Betsey.

A Celebration of the Life of Elizabeth D. “Betsey” Ryan will be held at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church 6586 Picasso Road, Isla Vista, California 93117 January 28, 2012, 10:00 a.m. Saturday


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