Mary Elizabeth Croken Ryan

09/06/2011 4:48 PM |

Mary Elizabeth Croken Ryan, known as “Betty,” died Sept. 1 at Peconic Landing in Greenport. She was 93.

She was born in Schenectady, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1918, to Wilbert Croken and Julia (Curtain) Croken. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in teaching from the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y.

Ms. Ryan served in the Red Cross in the Philippines and New Guinea during World War II. She married Bernard J. Ryan, M.D., on May 17, 1946, and they lived in Islip for 36 years. Following her husband’s retirement as chief of surgery at South Side Hospital in Bay Shore, they moved in 1986 to Shelter Island to live full time. She lived there for 20 years, and owned St. Elizabeth Farm for 47 years.

Ms. Ryan enjoyed gardens, food and playing bridge, according to family members. An inveterate traveler, she visited every continent except Antarctica, they said.

Predeceased by her husband in February 2005. Ms. Ryan is survived by her daughters, Kathleen Gerard of New York City, Elizabeth Mary, of Mendocino, Calif., and Elaine Ittleman of Charlotte, Vt.; her son, Christopher, of Islip; and nine grandchildren. She was also predeceased by her siblings Virginia Croken and Wilbert Croken.

A funeral mass was held Sept. 5 at Our Lady of the Isle R.C. Church in Shelter Island Heights, followed by interment at the church cemetery. Arrangements were handled by Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport.