December 21st, the winter solstice and darkest day of the year, was even darker when a bright light was extinguished with the passing of Richard Robert Ryder. After his long 2½ year battle with pancreatic cancer, he is now at peace even though so many of us will miss him.
Known by most as Dick Ryder, he grew up in Sayville and went on to live the rest of his adult years in Oakdale. He is survived by his wife Laurie of 58 years, daughter Nora and her husband Pete, son Tom and his wife Rose, his grandchildren Sabrina and CJ, his sister Elaine and her husband Red, along with many extended family members and cherished friends.
Dick served in the Coast Guard and had a lifelong career as a machinist – a job he loved. After retiring, he continued tinkering with machinery, and was known as “The Machinery Guy” for buying and selling machinery and tools. He took great pleasure in figuring out how things worked and helping others do the same.
His other joys included his membership in the Early Ford V-8 Club of America, the Long Island Antique Tool Collectors Association, and the Long Island Antique Power Association where he helped refurbish and operate an antique sawmill. He also enjoyed volunteering at the Seal Cove Auto Museum when he vacationed in Maine.
Dick was a real social butterfly – always calling and visiting friends. He had lots of fun taking trips with his wife to Maine, Pennsylvania and Virginia to hike and visit gardens, walking with his daughter in Bayard Cutting Arboretum, attending car shows with his son, and going on adventures with anyone who was lucky enough to join him.
He believed in being a good person and was always there to help anyone in need. Even if he wasn’t feeling good, especially when he was battling cancer, he would continually say, “I’m good, I’m good.” His strength and positive attitude is an inspiration to all of us left behind. He was a happy man, a good man. He did it his way.
A mighty tree has fallen in the forest… and it does make a sound. He will be missed.
Friends and relatives will gather for a celebration of Dick’s life.
Memorial Visitation - Saturday, January 21, 2023 from 2:00 - 4:30pm at our West Sayville Funeral Home, 245 Main St.
Words of Remembrance - Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 4:00pm at our West Sayville Funeral Home, 245 Main St.
In lieu of flowers, he would have appreciated donations to:
Chestene M. Coverdale Food Pantry, 47 Gillette Ave, Sayville, NY 11782
St. John's Episcopal Church, 1 Berard Blvd, Oakdale, NY 11769