Saturday, April 13, 2024

Paul Stanley Ryczak, 70, of Fairfax

Paul Stanley Ryczak (Vincent Funeral Home)

Paul Stanley Ryczak, age 70, of Fairfax, VA passed away peacefully while surrounded by many of his family on March 28, 2024, at Fairfax INOVA Hospital. He was born and raised in West Point, VA and was preceded in death by his parents, Stanley J. and Virginia B. Ryczak.

Paul attended Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic parochial school from 1st through 6th grade in West Point, VA. He attended Walsingham Academy in Williamsburg, VA from 7th through 12th grade where he was a gifted scholar and athlete and he graduated in 1971. While in high school, he was very active in many activities including the Key Club, the Forensics Club, and the Student Government Association, and he served as the SGA president in his senior year. From there he went on to college at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN where he served as one of the equipment managers for the Fighting Irish football team under Coach Ara Parseghian. The highlight of his 4 years at ND was the 1973 Sugar Bowl when they beat #1 Alabama, winning the National Championship and earning the #1 ranking. He graduated with a B.S. in 1975 and remained in Indiana for 15 years. In late 1990, Paul returned to the east coast to be near his extended family and he eventually settled in Fairfax, VA.

Paul had a competitive spirit and was a natural athlete in his youth and participated in several sports. He played Little League, and later American Legion, baseball in the summer months, and won several “Punt, Pass & Kick” football competitions put on by the local youth organization in West Point. In high school he lettered in basketball, track, baseball and soccer, and tied for Athlete of the Year as a junior. Outside of school, he enjoyed tennis and ping-pong. Over the years he enjoyed listening to music, especially rock music of the early 70’s, watching movies, working crossword puzzles, and playing backgammon.

Between 1981 and 1998, Paul was blessed with ten nieces and nephews. He was a proud and fiercely devoted uncle and attended as many of their baptisms, first communions, confirmations, athletic events, dance recitals, scouting ceremonies, high school and college graduations, and weddings as he could. Not having any children of his own, they were his family and he loved them dearly. They affectionately referred to him as the “fun” uncle because he was always willing to play and interact with them. He earned the title of “Sandcastle King” because of the many years he instigated and oversaw the construction of a large and elaborate sandcastle on the beach with his nieces and nephews during his family’s annual vacation on the Outer Banks of NC. The beach was Paul’s “happy place” and, above all else, he loved spending time with his family. One of his most treasured activities was working with his dad every December to set up a winter-themed model train village under the family Christmas tree in West Point, which was enjoyed by all of his siblings, in-laws, nephews and nieces. His patience and meticulous attention to detail was unmatched when it came to setting up the train village. Paul was a gentle, loving, kind, and generous brother and uncle, and he will be deeply missed.

He is survived by his brother Robert (Sonia) of Opelika, AL, his three sisters Maryann R. Casterline (Bill) of Chantilly, VA, Maureen R. Radford (Mike) of Wilson, NC, and Martha R. Whiteley (Eric) of Bowie, MD, six nephews John and David Casterline, Christopher and Brian Radford, Michael and Matthew Whiteley, four nieces Julia Ryczak, Kathryn Casterline Stevens, Rachel Whiteley Rosenberger and Sarah Whiteley, four great-nephews, and six great-nieces.

A funeral mass will be held at noon on April 4, 2024, at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Point, VA. Interment will follow at St. Theresa Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Fair Oaks Vol. Fire & Rescue Co., Inc., 12300 Route 50, Fairfax, VA 22033-2810.

Related Articles