May 8, 1969 - Feb. 19, 2013
Kerry Van Cott, a Buffalo businesswoman who helped her brother, Sean Ryan, win election to the Assembly, died Tuesday of a brain hemorrhage she suffered several days ago. She was 43.
The former Kerry Ryan was born in Buffalo. She graduated from Lackawanna High School and took courses at Medaille College and Buffalo State College.
She was employed at a number of Buffalo restaurants and bars while in her 20s and later worked for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Northtowns Imaging and Toshiba.
She met her husband, William, while on a sales call in 1998. The two married a year later.
In 2005, the couple formed Ryan Project Management, with Mrs. Van Cott serving as president of the company that manages real estate in downtown Buffalo.
The Van Cotts adopted their first son, Ryan, from Korea in 2006, then traveled to Seoul to adopt their second son, Alex, in 2011. Mrs. Van Cott often chronicled the journey of her two sons on Facebook.
“Her hobby was her kids,” said her husband. “She adopted them, and she did everything for them.”
In 2011, Mrs. Van Cott helped her brother win a special election to the Assembly. When he came up for re-election, she served as his volunteer coordinator, reaching out to old friends through phone calls and Facebook invitations. She also was a Democratic committee member from the Delaware District.
The Van Cotts briefly relocated to Massachusetts for business, but the family eagerly returned to Buffalo, where Mrs. Van Cott was active at St. Mark’s School and in the Parkside neighborhood.
Besides her husband, two sons and brother, Mrs. Van Cott is survived by her mother, Patricia McQuillen of Buffalo; her father, James Ryan; and a sister, Amy Ryan.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered held at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 401 Woodward Ave.