LAKELAND, FLORIDA — Andrew W. Ryan Jr., former judge, district attorney and state assembly member died on June 12, 2001, in Lakeland, Fla. at the age of 69 after living with cancer for the last two years.
Ryan was born in Plattsburgh on June 13, 1931, and is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Andrew Ryan and Lillian Ryan.
Raised in Plattsburgh, Ryan received a Catholic based primary & secondary education at St. John's Academy in Plattsburgh, graduating in 1949. After a year at Cranwell Preparatory School, he entered Georgetown University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Science in 1954.
Upon graduating from Georgetown, Ryan accepted a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Artillery and served from Sept. 1954 to July 1956, in the United States and Germany.
Upon his honorable discharge from the service he entered Albany Law School, graduating in 1959 with a LL.B.
Mr. Ryan was admitted to the Bar in March 1960 and he opened his law office in July 1960. In 1962 he became associated with John P. Judge and later in 1965, with the firm of Fitzpatrick, Bennett & Trombley.
In July of 1971, Mr. Ryan opened his own law office in Plattsburgh. Mr. Ryan also served the late Justices Ryan and Soden as Confidential Supreme Court Clerk from 1959 to 1963.
Ryan began his political career in 1968 by running for a seat to represent the 108th Assembly District, which included Clinton & Essex counties. As would happen often in his state assembly career, Ryan did not carry Clinton County but carried Essex County by a large enough margin to beat incumbent Louis Wolfe and win his first political office.
In 1972, redistricting allowed Ryan to be the State Assembly representative for the newly expanded 110th district, which consisted of Clinton, Essex & parts of Warren county. Though a later redistricting in 1982, Ryan represented Clinton & Franklin counties.
1972 also brought along Ryan's first big political battle, the creation of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). Along with long time friend & colleague Glenn Harris; Ryan believed the APA was not necessary and that the residents were the best stewards of the land. Although the APA was eventually created, Ryan won tremendous respect from constituents and politicians for his heartfelt, honest arguments. In 1974, he was honored by the New York State Conservation Council with their "Conservationist of the Year" Award.
During his 17 year service in the Assembly, he served on many committees and was the Ranking Minority Member of the Judiciary Committee for years. When Jim Emery became Assembly Minority Leader in 1979 and rewarded Ryan with the position of Assistant Minority Leader.
In 1985, Ryan left the state assembly after he was elected District Attorney of Clinton County.
In 1988 was elected to the New York State Supreme Court from the 4th Judicial District. While serving on the bench, Ryan was admired for his integrity, honesty, and for being forthright. He retired in December 1996, but continued to serve for two years as a Judicial Hearing Officer.
After retiring, Ryan moved to Lakeland, Florida where he and his wife Ellen became permanent residents.
While living in New York, Ryan loved to travel through the state to hunt and explore the wilderness areas. In later years, Andy and his wife Ellen became avid golfers and traveled around the country to golf.
Ryan is survived by his loving wife, Ellen Moe Ryan, who resides in Lakeland, Fla.; a daughter, Maura from Las Vegas, Nev.; a son, Andrew III of Brooklyn; two sisters, Susette Graham of Fairport and Keven Bellowsof Los Angeles; a grandson, Nicolas Cruz-Ryan of Las Vegas, Nev.; a sister-in-law Judi Baylinson; and several nieces & nephews.
Arrangements are with Lakeland Memorial Gardens. There will be no calling hours and a memorial mass will be held on Friday at 1 p.m. at St. Anthony's Catholic Church on Marcum Road in Lakeland, Fla. Internment will be private.
Donations may be made to: Watson Clinic Foundation, 1430 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33805