David H. Ryan, O.S.A.

1910 – 1991 (April 5)

David H. Ryan was born May 15, 1910. He was a graduate of St. Augustine High School in 1926 and the first Augustinian alumnus of the school to be ordained to the priesthood. He was ordained in 1936 together with Father Robert McGrath, O.S.A.

Father Ryan served in many of the California Augustinian communities in education, formation, low income housing, and parochial ministries. He was a person who enjoyed tinkering with things mechanical. While teaching at St. Augustine High School in the early post WWII years one of his subjects was airplane mechanics. He had procured a Navy trainer airplane and the class he taught would disassemble the airplane and then put it back together. Class success was realized when Father Ryan would climb into the cockpit of the airplane at year’s end and press the ignition button. People say the noise was deafening as the airplane would be taxied around what was known as the “upper field” of the Saints campus. He was a licensed pilot of light aircraft, a HAM radio operator, and while assigned to the St. Thomas Aquinas Church community in Ojai in his senior years, was writing a computer program on an early desktop computer translating English into Spanish.

While assigned to Ojai in those latter years he was loved by the Hispanic community for his liturgical celebrations in Spanish, especially during the major Church seasons such as Christmas and Easter. He would navigate the streets of Ojai on a Moped scooter, eating lunch with other senior citizens at the Ojai Senior Center. While practicing with the choir in the then downtown chapel in Ojai in preparation for Holy Week, Father Ryan suffered a severe stroke resulting in his death two years later.