Topsfield — Mr. Thomas M. Ryan, 61, formerly of Beverly & Peabody, beloved husband of Donna-Marie (Hitchman) Ryan, died Sunday, March 17, 2013, surrounded by his family.
Born in Boston, he was the son of the late Thomas I. and Rita L. (O’Brien) Ryan. Raised in Peabody, he graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School, Class of 1968. He continued his education, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Salem State College Class (SSC) in 1973 and his Master’s degree in Natural Science from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Class of 1980.
Tom had served seven years in the National Guard in Fort Sill, OK, and Fort Campbell, KY. He was a Member of the 26th Infantry Division HHB 1st BN 102 FA of Salem and Danvers.
He was a Graduating Officer and 2nd Lt. of Officer's candidate school Class of 1973 in Reading MA. He was awarded Soldier of the year in 1973 with the 26th Yankee Infantry Division and received the Alfred L. Wilson Memorial Award Most Outstanding Enlisted Member 26th Inf. Div HHB 1st BN 102 FA he was SP-4 Thomas M. Ryan at that time.
Mr. Ryan had been employed for thirty five years as a Biology and Chemistry teacher at Wakefield Memorial High School until the time of his retirement in 2007. Dedicated to his profession, he received the Outstanding Science Teacher award thru SSC Math/Science Collaborative Project in 1987 and was the recipient of the Salem State College Outstanding Educator Award in 2010 “in recognition of his unwavering dedication and invaluable contributions to the lives of countless students and their families.” He also received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for this honor.
He has been a resident of Topsfield for the past twenty four years and prior to that lived in Beverly. He was the past President, Vice-President, Treasurer and member of the Wakefield Teacher's Association and also served on the State Board of the Massachusetts Teacher’s Association, where he was unwavering in supporting fellow teachers' rights.