Dolores Semmes

Obituary of Dolores Ryan Semmes

Dolores (Didi) Ryan Semmes


Dolores (Didi) Ryan Semmes passed away peacefully at her home on Hilton Head Island on March 24, 2023.  Didi was born Feb. 10, 1926 on a beautiful cattle and cotton farm in the hill country of Decatur, Mississippi.  She was the daughter of the late Irvin Miller Willis and Myrtle Luddie Hollingsworth.


Didi was preceded in death by her sister, Audrey Willis McBeath; brother, James Kenneth Willis; first cousin, Harriet Manning; her first husband, Stephen Vincent Ryan, Esq. and her second husband John Edward (Jack) Semmes.


In addition she is survived by her sister, Margie Willis Horvath; her niece Janice Kaplon of Newtown, PA, niece Elizabeth Hammerschlag and her husband Robert Hammerschlag, also of Newtown, PA, niece Jeanna Willis White, of Meridian, Mississippi; nephew James M. Willis of Memphis, TN; two grand nephews, three grand nieces and one great grand nephew.


Didi moved to New York City where she met her charming husband, Stephen Ryan, Esq.  Stephen and Didi were residents of Manhattan for 42 years.  Didi was co-founder of Red Carpet Associates, helping to plan activities for meeting attendees in New York City.  She also traveled with her husband Stephen in his work for the March of Dimes during the development of the Salk Vaccine for polio.


Didi was an avid golfer at St. Andrews Golf Club in Hastings, NY and Bear Creek Golf Club in Hilton Head Island, SC.  She held the Women’s Championship titles in both clubs.  She moved to Hilton Head in 1992.


A memorial service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 300 Meeting Street, Hilton Head on Friday, April 28, 2023 at 11 AM. A reception will be held in the Gordon Mann Hall following the service.


Didi was a passionate gardener.  In lieu of flowers, however, contributions can be made in Didi’s name to a charitable organization of your choice.


Memorial Service

11:00 am
Friday, April 28, 2023
All Saints Episcopal Church
3001 Meeting Street
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, United States
Share Your Memory of