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Jan. 25, 1930 – Feb. 8, 2013

James Francis Ryan Jr., a veteran of the Korean War and past commander of Troop I Post, American Legion, died Friday while under Hospice care at his home in West Seneca following a battle with cancer. He was 83.

Mr. Ryan was born in Buffalo and attended Holy Family School and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, where he was voted most handsome senior.

He enlisted in the Air Force in 1950 and served as a radio interceptor for the Air Force Security Service while in Korea, Japan and China. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

After his honorable discharge, Mr. Ryan began his career in insurance. For many years, he worked at Merchants Mutual Insurance Company. It was there that he met the former Gladys Fechter, who would become his wife and mother of four children.

He later bought his own insurance agency with two friends, forming Stanton, Dauer & Ryan. He retired in 1997 and enjoyed playing golf, going to Bills games with his daughter Kathleen and attending family events with his eight grandchildren.

Mr. Ryan was active with the Troop I Post and served as commander from 1999 to 2002. He spent many hours coordinating fundraising activities, including the St. Patrick’s Day party and Allentown Weekend, and enjoyed playing the role of Santa Claus at the annual children’s Christmas party.

In addition to his wife of 57 years and his daughter, Mr. Ryan is survived by two other daughters, Susan and Julia; a son, James; and three sisters, Janet Jacobi, Maureen McCafferty and Kay Schlehr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 9 a.m. Monday in Queen of Heaven Church in West Seneca.