Bradley Charles Ryan passed away peacefully to the lyrics of “A White Sandy Beach in Hawaii” by Bruddah Iz with his wife, Wendy, by his side on May 9, 2022. Born in Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 20, 1950, Brad was brought up with his sister Sheila Ryan in Glastonbury, Conn., by Charles Carl Ryan and Mary (Bates) Ryan. Brad and his first wife Jacqui Ryan raised their beautiful daughter Caitlin Ryan in Brewster, Mass., on Cape Cod.
Brad followed the musician footsteps of his late father as a bebop drummer with jazz greats Earl Wormack on acoustic bass and his lifelong friend and mentor grand pianist Emery Austin Smith in the very popular “Trio Jazz” band. Brad later married Wendy Whitman on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 2002 and then settled on the Maine coast after retirement from the Stephen L. French Forestry Camp, where he directed culinary arts apprenticeship in the outdoor program for “wayward” youth in Brewster. He then became a park ranger at Lamoine State Park but longed to rebuild hiking trails at Acadia. This was to be his true calling, his absolute pride and joy. He shared his hardworking, fun-loving spirit with his beloved Acadia National Park Trail Crew Phamily for over 15 years. Together the “Pathmakers” created and curated an enduring legacy of meticulously selected, painstakingly shaped, hand hauled, lichen covered stones carefully placed among the moss and trees. The kinship and love among his beloved “Crew” and their shared passion for the stones, life, music and each other defined him and them.
Brad and Phriends continued to embrace their passion outside the park building trails and bridges for the Northeast Harbor Village Improvement Society, local land trusts and private projects improving accessibility and enhancing the scenic beauty of coastal Maine for future generations to enjoy. He would want everyone to hike the trails, love each other, do good and have Phun! Those of us who knew and loved him laughed and smiled at his antics and embraced his sheer joy as he determinedly marched to the beat of a different drummer. We know Brad was a dreamer, but not the only one. Peace & Love.