“A dedicated and compassionate caregiver at St. Joseph Hospital for decades, Melvin Schwartz and his wife demonstrated their friendship and support for the Hospital by establishing a legacy through a generous charitable planned gift.”
A world traveler who loved her hometown
It’s little surprise that Pamela Ryan, a Hermosa Beach woman who died last August at age 73, decided to remember Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers Torrance and San Pedro in her estate. According to her friends, Ryan loved life, appreciated the life-saving care she received at the hospital and wanted to make sure others had the best medical care possible.
Ryan, who left a generous estate gift to Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation, gave from her heart, said friend and former colleague Judi Hadfield of Napa Valley, California.
“She was so bubbly and kindhearted. She knew how to live life,” Hadfield said. “She had a large circle of friends and stayed in contact with them. She knew how to be a good friend. She never forgot birthdays and brought small gifts from her travels to her friends and coworkers.”
Ryan’s passion was seeing the world. She was born in Australia and lived in the South Bay ever since coming to the United States in the 1960s. She was in the travel business for many years, working for Marriott and travel agencies. She assisted people with bookings and would visit at least six countries a year.
She also enjoyed cooking and baking, said Don Smith, executor of her estate and a personal friend.
“She was always involved and followed what was going on the community,” Smith said. “She loved cooking, and could cook anything from scratch. She was an exceptional chef.”
In her later years, various ailments sent her to Providence Little Company of Mary for treatment. She had a blood disorder and broke bones on several occasions, Hadfield says.
“She got to know a lot of people and she always felt very comfortable at Providence,” she says. “She was very grateful that it was close by and there for her.”
“She enjoyed the care she got at the hospital and decided she’d like to give a good portion of her estate to the hospital,” Smith said. “They saved her life with their treatment.”
“Bequests, like this gift from Ms. Ryan, have a significant impact on our medical center,” said Joe Ward, Executive Director of Planned Giving. “They are easy to set up, provide an estate tax benefit and create a lasting legacy at an institution that has touched the lives of you and your loved ones.”
“Pamela was extremely grateful for the care she received here, and asked if she could do anything to help,” says Dr. Jashdeep Dhoot, the cardiologist at Providence Little Company of Mary who treated Ryan. “I was so sorry to hear that she had passed, but it’s nice to know that her estate gift will continue benefiting the patients of the medical center for years to come.”
She is remembered not just for her generosity toward the hospital, but also to her many friends. Before embarking on a trip to the Solomon Islands last summer – where she became suddenly ill and died – Ryan had planned a September party at her beach house in Hermosa Beach. Her friends showed up to toast her memory.
“She invited a group of us to come to her house in early September. She had the party all planned,” Hadfield says. “We went ahead with party even though she wasn’t there — knowing she would want us all to get together. She somehow knew that might be her send-off.”
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