John Van Ryn

John Gerard Van Ryn

1953 - 2024

Share Your Memory of

Obituary of John Gerard Van Ryn




With hearts both heavy and full of memories, we announce the passing of Johannus Gerardus van Ryn, known as John, at the age of 71. He left us on May 31st, 2024  in Toronto, Ontario, after a courageous battle with leukemia.


Born on February 6, 1953, in London, Ontario, John was a cherished son of Gerard Van Ryn and Bea Litjens.  While attending Catholic Central High School he played football alongside his two oldest brothers. He then went on to earn a Diploma in Accounting and Finance from Fanshawe College in 1975. John began his professional journey as a Budget Analyst at Yardley of London, followed by a position as Assistant to the Controller at the University of Toronto


However, the world of numbers couldn't contain John's larger-than-life personality. In 1986, he found his true calling in the automotive industry, becoming a Sales and Leasing Consultant. Over an impressive 37 years, John thrived in this role, where his love for cars was only rivalled by his passion for connecting with people. Known for his warm demeanour and sense of humour, John treated customers like friends.  He was a devoted employee, spending 35 years at Courtesy Chevrolet and an additional 2 years at Humberview Chevrolet Buick GMC in Toronto


John was an extroverted and caring man, often described as a "big teddy bear" who had a corresponding bear hug to match. He lived fully in the present, embracing each day with joy and a hearty laugh. He must have met and helped thousands of people throughout his career, never tiring of the chance to make someone's day a little brighter.


A perennial bachelor, John enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. He enjoyed golf, and was an enthusiastic fan of NFL football, the professional golf circuit, and NHL hockey as a loyal supporter of his beloved Leafs. John cherished time spent with friends and family, often over a cold beer and a good meal. He loved singing and was known to spontaneously break into Beach Boys and Franki Valli and the Four Seasons songs. 

John had a calm, peaceful demeanour and did not ruminate about the past or worry about the future.  If he had a theme song, it would undoubtedly be “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”


He had several roommates over the years, the longest being his dear friend and former colleague, Bert Carvalho. The family extends heartfelt thanks to Bert for his steadfast companionship and support, especially during John’s difficult final year.


John is preceded in death by his parents, Gerard and Bea Van Ryn, and his older brother Gerry, who passed away just five months ago. He is survived by his extensive and loving family: seven siblings (Jack, Ted, Betty, Herman, Dorothy, Joe, and Leny), their spouses, and numerous nieces and nephews.


A private celebration of life will be held for family members, and John's ashes will be scattered at a place significant to him at a later date. The family expresses deep gratitude to the staff at Princess Margaret Hospital for their excellent care and compassion during John's battle with cancer.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada ( or to a charity of your choice in John's memory.