Deceased June 3, 2023

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in memory

William James Ryan of Concord, Mass., passed away on June 3, 2023, at the age of 87 after a brief illness. Born on May 30, 1936, Bill, as he was always known, entered Amherst College from Summit, N.J., in 1954. 

At Amherst, Bill majored in economics and pledged Chi Phi, serving as social chairman. He used his height to good advantage, earning freshman 1958 numerals in basketball and rowing on the crew. (As coxswain, I could always count on Bill to “pull his weight,” an accolade for any oarsman.) While at Amherst, Bill married Barbara Hilyer and moved off campus to a flat in town. 

“Upon realizing that no one seemed interested in hiring me despite my distinguished record at Amherst,” Bill later wrote, “I managed to wangle admission to Harvard Business School.” There he delivered the morning paper, played on a championship basketball team (he claimed he had very good teammates), sired his first daughter and, in 1960, earned his MBA. 

The MBA led to a job in product management with Procter & Gamble in Ohio, where a son and a second daughter were born to Bill and Barbara. In 1975, Bill joined Gilette toiletries.  

Sadly, Barbara died in 1992. Subsequently, Bill married Martha “Marty” Stengel. In addition to Marty, Bill is survived by two of his three children with Barbara and by four grandchildren. 

Ned Megargee ’58