December 2013

Obituary: Edward Rydan

Long-time Potrero Hill resident Ed Ryden passed away on October 23 in Santa Rosa. Ryden was an artist, designer, builder, and man of many talents. From the 1960s to the 1980s he and his wife, artist Jean Halpert, were part of the Hill's original large artists' colony, in a period in which the area was considered "the other side of the tracks" and rents were affordable.

Like many artists, Ryden held other jobs that helped pay the rent. He put his talents as a wood worker and sculptor to use by helping Hill homeowners update and renovate their houses.

In 1985, Ryden and Halpert moved to the Galilee Hills in Israel, where they lived for 18 years in a home Ryden designed and built. In 2002, they returned to California, settling in Santa Rosa, allowing them to make frequent visits to San Francisco's galleries and museums, as well as to their old neighborhood.

Halpert passed away in 2011. Ryden continued to be active in the arts, especially through the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. He created and exhibited his prints and watercolors, and taught, until shortly before he passed away. He will be remembered by friends, students and the many artists and community members he touched.

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