La Jolla financial consultant William Joseph Ryan, 50, died last week doing one of the activities he loved most: surfing.
“He surfed four or five days a week,” said his wife Karrin, who described her husband “great, loving.”
Ryan’s colleague at Morgan Stanley in La Jolla, Glenn Mazzone, said of his friend of 20 years, who was the father of a 3-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son, “He loved his kids, loved surfing, loved Starbucks.”
Ryan was surfing at Tourmaline Surfing Park in Pacific Beach about 6 p.m. June 30, when he slumped over on his longboard. Fellow surfers attempted to revive him and brought him to shore after others called for medical support.
San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum, who responded to the call, said Ryan was not actively struggling in the water, but rather was “observed unconscious facedown in the water next to his board” by nearby surfers.
Lifeguards helped bring Ryan to shore where they performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and used a defibrillator until paramedics arrived and took Ryan to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla where he was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m.
The Medical Examiner’s office listed the cause of death as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque buildup.
Lifeguard Lerum said Ryan’s Skip Frye-designed surfboard was the first clue they had to the deceased surfer’s identity.
“No one right away knew his identity, but we asked around and some locals identified the big green board as one shaped by Skip Frye,” he said. “That led us to finally pick out his vehicle in the parking lot.”
Mazzone said Ryan was one of the more “directional” people he’s ever met.
“He was a hard worker,” he said. “He could be as focused as a laser beam if he had to be. He was real sharp in his business; knew the business well, understood how to develop and grow a business. He’s going to be missed here. It is a real loss to the company.”