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AUG. 30, 1954 -- NOV. 23, 2004

A Mass of Christian Burial for Thomas J. Ryan Jr., an attorney who practiced law in the Buffalo area for 21 years, will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Joseph-University Catholic Church, 3629 Main St.

Mr. Ryan, 50, died Tuesday in his Williamsville home after a long illness.

He was respected throughout the Buffalo legal community as a dedicated and knowledgeable lawyer, mediator and arbitrator.

A graduate of the University at Buffalo, he earned his law degree in 1985 from Ohio Northern University School of Law. He also attended the Cornell University School of Labor Relations. Mr. Ryan began his career working at Williams, Stevens, McCarville and Frizzell.

He then was employed by Allstate Insurance Co. as a defense lawyer and for J. Michael Hayes.

Mr. Ryan had been in private practice with his own firm since 1999. He was respected by both the bench and bar and was honored recently at a Shannon's Pub gathering that attracted hundreds of well-wishers.

Mr. Ryan was a member of the Erie County Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and served as a director for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Western Region affiliate.

He also was on the board of directors and legal counsel for the Pediatric Digestion Motility Disorder Society. Mr. Ryan was a longtime member of the Newman Center at the University at Buffalo North Campus and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council No. 3076, since 1975. He also served as a Democratic Party committeeman and volunteered on his son's sports teams.

On the night he died, approximately 200 of his friends and friends of his two teenage sons gathered at his home in a quiet candle-lit vigil as a show of love and a display of support for his family.

One participant, Greg Hawk, said as "the Ryans blessed us" so did they want to honor Mr. Ryan and his grieving family.

It was "as if he had called us there himself," Hawk wrote in a tribute. "Everything aside, (and) his memory above all else, we dropped our lives to come and see him off."

Mr. Ryan was the son of the late State Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Ryan.

Survivors include his wife of 22 years, the former JoAnne P. Pantano; his mother, Aida D. Ryan of Williamsville; two sons, John T. and James P.; three brothers, Mark J. of Dallas, Kevin H. and Robert J., both of Buffalo; and a sister, Mary Jo Davila-Ryan of Buffalo.


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