Joseph P.'s Story

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Mr. Joseph P. Ryan, 90, of Danvers, beloved husband of the late Carolyn (Sheldon) Ryan, died Wednesday, February 15, 2017, in Pinellas Park, Florida.
Born in Cambridge, he was the son of the late Henry J. and Marion J. (Maguire) Ryan. Joseph was raised and educated in Jamaica Plain and graduated from Mission High School in Roxbury, Class of 1944.
An honorably discharged veteran, he served his country as a member of the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. While in the Army, he attended the University of Vermont and the University of Maine and then served in Italy.
Mr. Ryan continued his education at Boston College, graduating in the Class of 1951 and later earning a Master of Education. Upon graduation, Mr. Ryan was employed as an educator for over 40 years with the Boston and Quincy Public Schools until the time of his retirement in 1990. He spent most of his career as a guidance counselor at Central Middle School in Quincy, where he also coached football.
A loving, patient, and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Joe spent much of his last year of life caring for his new grandson, “the best baby in the world.” He changed many a diaper and sang many a song to Finn. He will be deeply missed.
A consummate storyteller, well-known and beloved everywhere he went, Joe led an active social life up until his 90th year. He was a past commander and member of the VFW Hyde Square Post #722 in Jamaica Plain, a member of the Quincy Retired Teachers Association, a member of St. Richard’s Church in Danvers, past president of the Catholic Graduates of Greater Boston, and a lifelong Democrat.
Joe founded the Snowbounders Ski Club and was also a longtime member of the Prospectors Ski Club in North Conway, N.H., but also enjoyed spending winters in St. Petersburg, Florida, driving there and back himself until his 89th birthday.
Joe is survived by his son, Terence J. Ryan, daughter-in-law Elizabeth Ryan, and granddaughter, Samantha Ryan of St. Petersburg, Fla.; his daughter, Colleen M. Ryan, her partner, Billy Hulkower, and grandson, Finn Joseph Ryan of Intervale, N.H.; and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Claire Ryan Crihfield and Henry J. and William F. Ryan.
His funeral will be held from the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (Route 62), Danvers, Monday, March 13, at 8:15 a.m., followed by his funeral Mass in St. Richard Church, Forest St., Danvers at 9 a.m. Relatives and friends invited. Visiting hours Sunday, March 12, from 3 to 6 p.m., followed by a celebration of Joe’s life at a nearby pub. Burial in North Beverly Cemetery, Beverly. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Joe’s memory to the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, P.O. Box 424, North Conway, NH 03860. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
Published on  March 6, 2017
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