Mr. Ryan had a hand in another venture, The Country Gourmet, which was located in the Piedmont Center near Piedmont and Roswell roads. He'd open the businesses, manage them for a while, sell them and move on.
"He'd get weary of having them, so he would sell them," said Clayton Penhallegon, a friend from Bainbridge in Decatur County. "He was very business savvy."
Mr. Ryan graduated from high school in Shreveport, La., and earned an architectural degree from Tulane University. He received a master's in business administration from Stanford University, then returned to New Orleans to play music and become a restaurateur.
Mr. Ryan also managed the Ruby Red's Band, but he never toured with the group because of his business dealings. A piano he kept in his home has been donated to the Bainbridge-Decatur County Arts Council.
"People enjoyed watching him play and he'd want all the people to sing and participate," his partner said.
Survivors include numerous cousins.