Santa Paula Times

Ida Shively Ryan, Class of 1920

June 04, 2004
Santa Paula High School
By B. J. Harding, President, SPUHS Alumni Association Biography #235 (Have you submitted yours?)In 1901, Ida arrived to the union of Alonzo Lincoln and Ida May Lehman Shively. She was born in the house still standing on the northwest corner of Santa Paula Street at 8th Street. Ida had two older brothers, R.Z., Class of 1906, and Douglas, Class of 1915, and, of course, she was the apple of their eyes.Ida’s mother died shortly after her birth, and two years later Alonzo married Tillie Boucher, who was the only mother Ida knew. The children grew up in the neighborhood, playing baseball in the middle of the street with the neighbor kids, which consisted of Willard Beckley, Milton Teague, Addie Leopold, Joe Archer and Paul Churchill.The children attended McKevett Grammar School (then called North Grammar School) and went on to SPUHS. Some of Ida’s classmates at SPUHS were Marshall Dickenson, Clara Claberg, Dorothy Hall, Jim Pinkerton, Josephine Knick, Howard Sheldon and Bernice Jones (the daughter of the principal, F. K. Jones), and Art Strong.
Following graduation Ida went to Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California, and completed her education at Pomona College. She returned to Santa Paula in 1924 after having been badly burned at school. Ida attended a local dance, and there was introduced to a handsome engineer, Robert Ryan, who had also been badly burned in an explosion of a gasoline truck. The evening was spent sitting on the sidelines of the dance floor comparing burns. They must have found a lot in common, as in April of 1926 Ida married Bob Ryan, a marriage which lasted until Bob’s death in 1954. In 1940 they bought a ranch on the west end of town on Foothill Road, where they lived and farmed until their respective deaths.Ida was a stay-at-home wife and mom, raising their two children, Robert, Class of 1945 and Donna, Class of 1953. During World War II Ida was a coast watcher, and once a week went to the coast to spot airplanes for the war effort. She put in many hours as a “Pink Lady” at the Santa Paula Memorial Hospital. Ida was a member of the Santa Paula Ebell Club, the Assistance League and the Presbyterian Church. She will long be remembered for her great sense of humor and good personality, which endeared her to her many friends and acquaintances, as well as those friends of her children. Ida passed from us February 9, 1997.