SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 20, 2013

Thomas M. Ryan, 61


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.

An avid sports fan, he was a soccer coach for both his daughters with the Topsfield Athletic Association and had continued to play summer league men's softball since 1973 in Wakefield (with the Matheson's) and in Topsfield as a member of the Topsfield Red Sox for the last 20 yrs. He was an avid Boston Red Sox fan, a Civil War enthusiast and was a volunteer at the Audubon Society in Topsfield where just this past fall he resumed his volunteer work. He also had a great love for wood working and furniture making, and a good eye for fine craftsmanship.

In addition to his wife with whom he shared forty years of marriage, he is survived by two daughters, Maeve Ryan Luciani and her husband, John M. Luciani of Reading and U.S. Navy Seaman Maura P. Ryan of NIOC Hawaii and Topsfield, two sisters, Mary Andrewes and her husband, John Sullivan of Chicopee and Rita Laraia and her husband, Anthony of Torrington, CT, a brother, Christopher J. Ryan Danvers, a step-mother Margaret “Nancy" Ryan of Danvers, an uncle, Fr. Francis Ryan, SJ. of the Campion Center in Weston, formally of Jamaica, W.I., and several nieces and nephews.

ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral Mass will be celebrated at the St. Rose of Lima Church, Park St., Topsfield, Friday, March 22, 2013, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Campbell – Lee, Moody, Russell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly (North Beverly location), Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Burial in the Pine Grove Cemetery, Topsfield. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Tom’s memory to the Hospice of the North Shore, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, MA 01923 or the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center-Oncology, c/o Office of Development, 330 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215. Information, directions and condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.