Celebrating the life of Virginia Teresa Ryan
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She was born in Ballinamore Carrick On Shannon, Ireland on January 23, 1932, a daughter of the late Thomas Prior and Bridget (O’Rourke) Prior. She came to America in 1951 at age 19, sponsored by her favorite uncle, the late Patrick Dolan, father of the late Marguerite (Dolan) Carty.
After arriving from Ireland and settling in Providence, at age 19, Virginia jumped right into a lifelong career with the Arnold Buffum Chace family. Her love, loyalty and devotion for over 67 years spanned 4 generations of Chaces in a diversity of roles but foremost as a beloved confidant and matriarch of sorts. She was often affectionately referred to as "The Boss" and nationally renowned (wink) for her gourmet specialty dish "Blueberry Plop". She loved Buff, Johnnie, Sarah, Ben, Nathaniel and Lilly dearly, as if they were her own children. Amongst the many diverse hats Ginny (or GinGin) wore over the course of her 67 year career, her position as chief family historian was one of her greatest gifts to the above named grandchildren of her initial employers, Arnold B. and Evelyn T. Chace, who both she and her husband Robert also loved and cared for until they passed away. She was a true example of great leadership, with no task too daunting, always able to prioritize what was most important, and that decision making was driven by her innate ability to always show unconditional love.
Virginia was a founding board member of The Irish Ceilidhe Club of Rhode Island and a member of Ireland’s 32 Society.
Along with her husband, she leaves her devoted daughter, Maureen Siobhan Ryan, and two loving sons, Robert O'Neill Ryan Jr. and Michael Thomas Ryan, all of RI. She also leaves behind her sister, Mary Hanley, NY and brother, James Prior, NY. She was the sister of the late Thomas Prior of VA and Leo Prior of NY. She has many nieces, nephews, and an enormous extended family here in America as well as her devoted lifelong friends from Ireland, who will all greatly miss and always treasure her profound kindness, innate empathy, overwhelming generosity and incredible sense of humor.
A Mass of Christian burial will Friday at 10 am in St. Raymond’s Church, 1240 North Main St. Providence to which relatives and friends are invited. Calling hours will be held Thursday from 5-8 at Monahan, Drabble & Sherman Funeral Home 230 Waterman Street Providence RI 02906
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to any of the following charities dear to Virginia's heart. In honor of her young cousins: New England Hemophilia Association 347 Washington St. Suite 401 Dedham, MA 02026 in honor of Logan Michael Carty or Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, Eastern PA Chapter, 555 Croton Rd, King of Prussia, PA 19406 in honor of Mason William Carty or to St. Raymond's Church - see address above or The Flutie Foundation for Autism, PO Box 2157, Framingham, MA 01703. Condolences may be left at www.monahandrabblesherman.com
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