Cover photo for David Ryan's Obituary
1949 David 2023

David Ryan

April 30, 1949 — July 2, 2023

David Ryan, born April 30, 1949, passed away peacefully July 2, 2023 with his wife and daughter at his side. Born in Akron, Ohio, David grew up in nearby Atwater where he was a star basketball player at Atwater High School before continuing to play at Alderson Broaddus College in West Virginia. He earned a master’s degree in Statistics at West Virginia University, working in their early computer labs.

David began his career as a contractor working on the design of the Space Shuttle Wing in Hampton, Virginia, followed by software engineering telecommunication jobs at ITT North Electric in Galion, Ohio and Cape Canaveral, Florida; Siemens in Boca Raton, Florida and Munich, Germany; Stromberg Carlson in Rochester, New York; and Northern Telecom in Triangle Research Park, North Carolina. These jobs took him to Italy, Oman, Panama and Alaska.

Not one to let retirement slow him down, he spent his time at home playing the stock market, building beautiful stone retaining walls for his wife’s flower gardens, and growing enough food so that his daughter once called him from college to ask how much potatoes are supposed to cost from the store because they had never needed to purchase any. One of his greatest joys was in being a substitute teacher in mostly special needs classrooms at Hardin Park and Watauga High School.

More than anything, David loved his family, and did everything in his power to provide for them and to support them. You could count on one hand the number of school events or field trip chaperoning opportunities he missed over the years—if there were any missed at all. And even with very slow internet at home, he made an effort to watch any live-streaming YouTube coverage of his daughter playing in curling bonspiels around the country.

David is preceded in death by his mother, Toots, father Woody, and younger brother Dan. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Lee (Cynthia Lee Epperson Ryan), daughter Samantha, eldest brother Jack (Jan), along with many nieces and nephews and countless friends, all of whom he loved dearly. 

While there will be no formal services, visits with friends and family over the next year will celebrate David. These celebrations will include sharing stories of Dave and watching Everyone Loves Raymond, The Andy Griffith Show and Gunsmoke. If you have any Dave stories you would like to share, please email them to [email protected]. Lee and Samantha would love to read them. Gentry Family Funeral Service of Yadkinville is serving the Ryan family. 


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