Sherrill Ann Ryan

Jan 20, 1938 - Jan 18, 2024

Sherrill Ann Ryan PHD

Sherrill died peacefully at the May Court Hospice in Ottawa after a lengthy battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Sherrill was born in Englehart Ontario in 1938 and moved to North Bay in 1947. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College and then attended North Bay Teachers College in 1957. She taught on the Canadian Forces base in North Bay for five years before moving in 1962 to another teaching position in Grostenqin France. There she taught with four other young women – Ruth, Heather, Ev and Pat – these five women would meet annually in Europe and Canada to maintain to this day their close friendship. She also met and married Dick Ackland before returning to begin a career in Education with the Ottawa Board. Tragically, Dick died of pancreatic cancer leaving Sherrill to raise their two young sons Paul and Robert. Sherrill continued with the Ottawa Board mostly in Special Education (publishing some Children’s readers along the way) and concluded her career as Principal of Grant Public School in the west end of Ottawa. After retirement, she went on to teach part time at Queens University for several years.

Sherrill is survived by her sister Sheila Tierney (Ed), her loving husband Roger Ouellette, her two sons Paul and Robert (Vanessa) as well as her stepchildren Leita (Chris), Robert (Pam). She is also survived by her eight adoring grandchildren: James, Charlotte, Maya, Elizabeth, Sophie, Michael, Lola and Eva.

Sherrill was predeceased by her parents Martha O’Grady and John Ryan as well as by her older siblings: Geraldine, Bernice, Doreen, Cliff, Kevin, Tim, Frank and Phyllis.

Sherrill enjoyed her work in education and made many friends along the way. Her beautiful smile (always showing her lovely teeth), the Irish twinkle in her eyes and her warm unassertive approach to people, attracted many friends over the years.

Outside of rearing her two fine boys, there were two accomplishments of which Sherrill was most proud. The first was spending four years (following her retirement) to graduate with her Doctor of Philosophy in Education granted by the University of Toronto. The second was to meld two families, the children and the grandchildren into one large closely knit family who will all miss Sherrill’s presence for a long time to come. This all happened, first at the cottage in the Thousand Islands and then continued for many years at the Lake House on Lac McGregor in the Gatineau.
There will be a funeral mass at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, 385 Sussex Dr. Ottawa on Saturday February 24th at 11:00 a.m.

A reception will follow immediately after downstairs in the Cathedral Hall.



  1. Ekkehard Goetting February 23, 2024 at 12:22 am - Reply

    Sherrill is greatly missed. A wonderful friend and neighbour in our shared time of most memorable Summers on the St. Lawrence River. The beautiful memories will live on and shared with Roger and family

  2. Jim and Elanor Patenaude January 28, 2024 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    I met Sherrill only a few times and I saw her at one as a warm, interesting, and interested person. She will be, I’m certain, a great loss to her family and we therefore extend our condolences to them. To Roger, Jim and I are so very sorry for your loss.

  3. Virginia and Tony January 27, 2024 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Our deepest condolences to Roger, Sherrill’s family members and dear friends.
    We will miss her constant welcome smile amongst the residents on McLeod Street.

  4. Drew Tierney January 27, 2024 at 6:31 am - Reply

    Aunt Sherrill was a wonderful person. She always took an interest in me and what I was doing. She was always encouraging in my education career and in my life in general. While growing up, my family spent a lot of time with Sherrill, Robert and Paul in Ottawa. Sherrill was always generous and charming – a truly classy person. I will miss her greatly.

  5. Anita Kealey January 26, 2024 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I am so very sorry to hear of Sherrill’s passing. My heartfelt condolences go out to Roger, Paul, Robert, Vanessa, Leita and Robert .and all of her grandchildren. I worked with Sherrill at the Ottawa Board of Education in the Special Education Department. She was an outstanding educator and a good friend.

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All Memories

Ekkehard Goetting

Sherrill is greatly missed. A wonderful friend and neighbour in our shared time of most memorable Summers on the St. Lawrence River. The beautiful memories will live on and shared with Roger and family