Richard J. Ryan, a railroad enthusiast and model train hobbyist who worked 30 years as a machine and equipment mechanic for Western Electric, died Monday in the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, Cheektowaga. He was 84.
The Buffalo native was a graduate of McKinley High School and served in the National Guard.
Mr. Ryan began building model trains and railroad layouts as a young boy in the attic of his parents' home.
Throughout his life, he built more than 200 model engines and cars, scaling them down from original blueprints. A railroad layout expanded across 400 square feet in the basement of his Lancaster home and included hills, tunnels, handmade buildings and a large switching yard and roundhouse.
Mr. Ryan, who retired from Western Electric in 1977, was a member of numerous model railroading clubs and was the former vice president of the Niagara Frontier Model Railroad Association.
Survivors include three sons, James, Robert and Thomas; a daughter, Deborah Blatner; and a brother, William. A couple of weeks ago, he took a final train ride with his children from Depew to Niagara Falls.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Friday in Full Gospel Tabernacle, 3210 Southwestern Boulevard, Orchard Park.