Obituary - Quentin Ryan, of Cockermouth
Last updated at 12:30, Friday, 14 September 2012
A popular Cockermouth restaurant owner has died following a short illness.
Quentin Ryan, 66, ran the Honest Lawyer with his wife Christine, 55, and was well known in the town.
He died on September 1 at Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital.
Mr Ryan, who lived in Challoner Street, was born on a farm at Pleasant Point in New Zealand in 1945 and after attending boarding school left New Zealand and travelled to Australia on a boat.
While in Australia, he worked on oil rigs and lived in the outback where it took two days to drive to the nearest convenience store.
He left Australia and travelled to Europe and on to Cornwall, where he worked for a farm developer.
He then moved to London where he made friends with other people from New Zealand.
He started working on private yachts before eventually getting his own and becoming a skipper.
While in Greece he met Mrs Ryan and they got married in Essex in 1984.
After their marriage they lived in France and then Monte Carlo, from where they worked on yachts voyaging all around the world.
She said: “We stayed working together on boats where he was skipper and I would do the cooking and cleaning.
“We had our two children, Jacinta and Edward James, and then visited his family in New Zealand in 2000.”
The couple stayed in New Zealand for five years and their children got the chance to get to know the country.
Mrs Ryan, who was born in Workington, returned to Cumbria with her husband and children and when in Cockermouth spotted the restaurant and decided to move to the town.
She added: “We were looking for something to do and we thought that the restaurant had a lot of potential. We had always worked together and Quentin was always the boss.”
Mrs Ryan said her husband had three great passions in life which were his children, the New Zealand rugby team and travelling.
She said: “He was a great rugby fan and was almost picked for the New Zealand rugby team as he was on the shortlist at one stage. He was one of five brothers, of which four played rugby to a very high standard.
“His greatest love was for his children and he was 50 when Edward-James was born and he always put them first. He was so proud of both of them and his love of his children will be his greatest legacy.”
She said he was loved by a lot of people and was loyal to his friends and family.
The family took over the Honest Lawyer, five years ago initially living in a flat above the business.
Their restaurant was under six feet of water during the 2009 floods as was their Challoner Street home – which they had bought but not even moved into.
After eight months of hard work they finally moved into the new house but it took nearly two years for them to reopen the restaurant.
She said: “It took such a long time. We were just starting to get back to normal and life was starting to be quite enjoyable.
“Quentin had such a wicked sense of humour which was quite apt for him.
“He was a very kind, caring man who loved his family.”
Mrs Ryan has received around 50 sympathy cards.
She added: “I want to say a big thanks to people for their amazing kindness, good wishes and support that I have received and I look forward to seeing them again at the restaurant.”
Mr Ryan is survived by his wife and two children Edward-James, 16, and Jacinta, 14.
A private family funeral was held at Distington Crematorium on Tuesday.
First published at 11:54, Friday, 14 September 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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