Virgin Mary

Jean Phyllis (Diggins) Ryan

September 21, 1926 ~ February 10, 2020 (age 93)


Jean P. Ryan   93

North Sydney

It is with heartfelt sadness we announce the peaceful passing of Jean Phyllis Ryan, age 93, loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend on Monday, February 10, 2020.  With her loving husband Bobby holding her hand and surrounded by many of her children Jean was called home to the Lord.

Born in Manhasset Lake, Guysborough County, on September 21, 1926, Jean was the daughter of the late Ernest and Clementine (Chisholm) Diggins.  Jean was the last surviving member of her immediate family.  A devout Catholic, she was a faithful member of St. Joseph Church, North Sydney and an active member of the CWL for many years.    

At a young age, Jean worked at the local sweet shop in Mulgrave and our dad had a very “sweet tooth”, the rest they say is history.  Mom met the love of her life, our dad Bob in 1946 and they married on October 25, 1948.  Their beautiful love story included hand holding, laughter, compromise and never going to bed angry at one another.

Family was everything to our Mom, she always put her family first.  Mom’s life embodied love.  She loved, and was loved, by all who met her.  Mom’s home was open to everyone, hockey billets, train travelers, even the Irish band Barley Bree and the popular Platinum Blonde, not to mention the countless friends of her 13 children, yet there was always room for one more!  Mom’s kitchen counters were always full of freshly baked rolls, bread, pies and donuts, which she loved to share.  All were welcomed with a cup of tea, something sweet and a warm loving smile. 

Jean was known to all as a true lady, a warm, loving, selfless and compassionate person, who had a great sense of humor with a beautiful laugh and a keen sense of fashion. Mom was an avid sports fan and spent many hours driving her kids to every sporting event, whether it was hockey, baseball, speedskating or cheerleading.  She especially enjoyed her time spent at the rink.  Mom also enjoyed the many Speech Festivals her children participated in.  Her summer passion was piling the kids in the car and spending the entire day at the beach.

In later years mom enjoyed travelling with dad to many parts of the world, especially to Florida with their family and friends. 

Jean is survived by her loving husband of 72 years, Bobby, her children, Wayne, Baddeck, Phyllis (Yorke) Tutty, Liverpool, Blaise (Martha), Plamondon, AB, Roberta (Gerald) MacBurnie, North Sydney, Monica (Blaine) Cooke, Ball’s Creek, Claire (Tom) O’Quinn, Vancouver, Carmelita Corrigal, Edmonton, Shaun (Judith), North Sydney, Michelle (Steve) Goggin, Edmonton, LaRose (Chester) Doucette, Halifax, Pat (Carol Kennedy), Sydney, Norma Jean (Lyndon) Johnston, North

Sydney; her 29 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; her daughters-in-law Arlene Ryan, Petra Ryan and Joanne Boutilier, also a number of nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents, Jean was predeceased by her son Joseph “Joe”, her grandson Bobby Joe Ryan, her granddaughter Kimberly Corrigal, son-in-law Ed Corrigal, her brother Maurice Diggins, sister Mary (Teddy) Anderson, infant sister Jean Carolyn Diggins and nephew Dennis Anderson. 

Mom has left her family a priceless legacy which we were blessed with and grateful for, her love and compassion to others.  Mom, you are forever loved and held in our hearts.

Many thanks to the staff at Harbourstone Enhanced Care for their warm and gentle care of mom.

Visitation for Jean will be held from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. on Friday in the W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney.  A funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at St. Joseph Church with Rev. Patrick O’Neill officiating.  Burial will take place in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Sydney at a later date. 

Family flowers only and memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia or the North Sydney Food Bank.  Online condolences may be sent to the family at  



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean Phyllis (Diggins) Ryan, please visit our floral store.


February 14, 2020

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
W. J. Dooley Funeral Service Ltd.
107 Pleasant St
North Sydney, NS B2A 1L9

February 14, 2020

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
W. J. Dooley Funeral Service Ltd.
107 Pleasant St
North Sydney, NS B2A 1L9

Funeral Mass
February 15, 2020

11:00 AM
St. Joseph Church
Archibald Avenue
North Sydney, Nova Scotia B2A 1L9

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