Antoinette W. Ryan
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Antoinette W. Ryan
Mrs. Ryan was born Feb. 1, 1929, in her grandparents' home in Hickory Township, a daughter of Thomas Leonard and Winifred (Fitzgerald) Wasley.
A voracious reader from childhood, a special teacher gave her permission to read books from the adult public library and she proceeded to read them all. Toni was a graduate of Sharpsville High School, where she was the editor in chief of the high school newspaper.
As a young woman, Toni worked many jobs, including her employment at the Sharon Transformer Division of Westinghouse Electric Corp. She spent six months discerning her vocation at Mount St. Benedict in Erie. While working full-time, Toni attended Youngstown State University, where she earned her degree in English and Comprehensive Social Studies.
Toni met her husband while both were students at YSU. John had just been discharged from the Navy. Toni also traveled to Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery to visit the gravesite of her brother, Leonard, who died in service to his country.
Following her graduation, Toni taught school at St. Gregory's in North East, St. Joseph's School in Sharon and in the Sharon City School District. She also did student teaching at Hubbard (Ohio) High School.
Toni traveled to Combermere, Canada, to spend two weeks at the Madonna House doing missionary work for the poor and worked alongside the founder of the Madonna House, Russian Baroness Catherine de Heuk Doherty.
Toni loved to travel. She visited most of the Continental United States and a large part of Canada. She traveled mainly by car, sometimes by train or bus. In her travels she was delighted to visit Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Great Salt Lake, the elephant seals on the Pacific coast, Hearst Mansion, Universal Studios, Disneyland, the Rocky Mountains, Western United States deserts, a Danish town in California, the Navajo and Seneca Reservations, Roy Rogers Museum, Buffalo Bill's gravesite and the United Field Museum in Chicago, where she saw Dinosaur Sue, Lions of Tsavo and The Ghost and the Darkness.
Toni was proud of her Swedish-Irish-German heritage and researched her genealogy creating a family tree. Toni was a lifelong writer who loved the study of languages. She worked for many years as a writer/correspondent for the Greenville Record-Argus and the Youngstown Vindicator and wrote and produced plays for St. Joseph's catechism students. She was also the producer for the Valley Arts Guild Shenango Playhouse, which presented stage plays at the campus of Penn State Shenango.
Toni was certified in commercial art and was a talented painter and artist. She also enjoyed drawing. A writing instructor, she was a member of the Penn Writers, Tri-City Writers Club and the Valley Arts Guild Writers. She taught workshops at the Valley Arts Guild in Sharon and traveled to eastern Pennsylvania to conduct writing classes.
As a reporter, she covered many unique stories, one of which is when she was invited, and accepted, to take a ride in the MedEvac helicopter when they first came into use in Sharon.
During the 1990s, Toni was editor of the St. Joseph Church newspaper. She was a lifelong member and past president of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima. She was also a consecrated member of the Knights of the Immaculata and belonged to Pro-Life of Mercer County.
Toni was interested in everything. She loved to learn, studying several languages throughout her life, including Latin, Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Russian.
She loved animals, especially dogs, and leaves her beloved grand-dogs, Tallulah, Muffy, Petunia, Hootie, Katie and Raphael.
Toni helped an innumerable amount of people throughout her life. She was generous with her time, energy and financial resources. She never tired of serving others.
A devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother, she is survived by her husband, John Ryan, whom she married on New Year's Eve in 1960 in St. Bartholomew Church, Sharpsville; three children, Shaun (Mary) Ryan, Hastings, Fla., Marianne (John) Elliott, Sharpsville, and James (Kristina) Ryan, Spring, Texas; and eight grandchildren, Ian Elliott, Jacob Elliott, Anthony (Miranda) Elliott, Maria (Nate McCann) Elliott, John Paul Elliott, Therese (Spencer Barner) Elliott, the Rev. Christian Mariachris Dansuma and Elijah Ryan; three siblings, Frank (Lois) Wasley, Los Osos, Calif., Eileen (William) Phillips, Hubbard, Ohio, and Loretta Wasley, Sharpsville; a sister-in-law, Barbara Wasley, Oklahoma; and several nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, Toni was preceded in death by a sister, Mary (Paul) Gulentz; and three brothers, Leonard Thomas Wasley, Joseph Wasley and Martin Wasley; her father- and mother-in-law, James and Ethel Ryan; three brothers-in-law, James Ryan, Thomas Ryan and William Ryan; and two sisters-in-law, Patricia Logan and Margaret Ryan.
The family suggests memorial contributions be directed to St. Joseph Church, 79 Case Ave., Sharon, PA 16146; or to a charity of the donor's choice.
Mrs. John (Antoinette 'Toni' W.), 90, of Sharon.
Calling hours: From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday (3-15-19) in J. BRADLEY McGONIGLE FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY INC., 1090 E. State St., Sharon. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.McGonigle FuneralHomeandCrematory.com.
Service: Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Friday (3-15-19) in St. Joseph Church, Sharon, with the Rev. Thomas Whitman, pastor, as celebrant.
Interment: St. Rose Cemetery, Hermitage.
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