Donald J. Ryan ’44 died August 20, 2015, in Scarborough, Maine.
(The following appeared in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from Aug. 24 to Aug. 25, 2015):
FALMOUTH – Donald J. Ryan, 92, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Aug. 20, 2015, at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough. Don was born in New York City on Nov. 9, 1922. The youngest son of Ethel Johnston Ryan and Harwood Eldridge Ryan Sr., he spent his earliest years in New Rochelle. Don was introduced to Maine as a baby. At first, his family summered in Falmouth and they moved here permanently when he was eight years old.
He was known for and particularly fond of the adventures he shared with schoolmates in the Town Landing neighborhood, many of which included Model T Fords and boats.
Don attended Deering High School and was a proud graduate of the Bowdoin College Class of ’44. In 1947, he married the love of his life, Dorothy Blomquist, whom he met at a dance on the campus of Carleton College.
During World War II, he served in the bomb disposal squad. His tour of duty included stints in Italy and Japan. He also served in the Korean War.
After the family resettled in Falmouth, Don enjoyed a long and successful career as a salesman for materials handling equipment throughout Maine. He was valued by his clients for his innate ability to present new and better ways to keep things moving.
Don was an exceptional father and a talented craftsman who, with the support of his beloved Dody, transformed an 1820 farmhouse into a cozy and welcoming home for the past 60 years. Don’s passion for history and words, as well as his eye for detail was passed on to his children. Many a finely turned phrase was swapped among them over the decades.
He was a longstanding member of the Portland Yacht Club.
Don was predeceased by his father Harwood E. Ryan Sr., his mother Ethel Johnston Ryan; his sister Jean Ryan Taylor, and his brother Harwood E. Ryan, Jr. He is survived by his wife Dorothy B. Ryan; his daughter Pamela, and his sons Scott and Jeff and their wives. He is also survived by his two granddaughters; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.