Patricia Heriot Ryan, 82, Merritt Island, Fla., formerly of Savannah, died peacefully May 22, 2020, surrounded by family, from the effects of frontotemporal dementia. She was born February 22, 1938 to the late Theodore B. and Christine S. Heriot and was a graduate of Savannah High School.
She was predeceased by her half-sister, Jeanne Heriot Delany; her husband of nearly 60 years, William Thomas Ryan, and great grandson, Jasper Ryan Moody, “Patsy” as she was referred to by her “Billy”, was a convert to the catholic church prior to marrying her high school sweetheart. She was a prayerful and kind lady who was devoted to St. Therese of Lisieux, the little flower.
Pat began her working career at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, and after relocating to the Atlanta area in the late 1960’s, worked in the credit department of Rich’s department store. Her most rewarding work was that of a ParaProfessional, teaching remedial reading and math to third and fourth graders at Sts. Peter and Paul, Tilson and McClendon Elementary Schools, all in Decatur.
A loving and helpful wife, mother and grandmother, Pat was happiest when amongst her family. “Nana” helped raise her grandson, Ryan, while his mom was off serving thousands of passengers in the sky. During the 1970’s, she was Bill’s right-hand woman building small sailboats. In later years, they spent many days on their sailboat “Alamar”, previously harbored in one of their favorite cities, Oriental, NC.
Pat volunteered at her daughter’s schools, participating in various fundraising events and rummage sales, the PTA, girl scouts and high school band. She and Bill enjoyed ushering for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the fabulous Fox Theater and being docents at many Madison. GA historical home tours. They were both active in the local garden club, and she enjoyed working part time at the Madison Markets Antique and Interiors. Pat had many artistic talents including painting, crafting, and writing poetry.
Next to her family, Tybee Island was Pat’s next love. As a child, her grandparents, Dr. George, and Eva Heriot, would often drive her to the beach at Tybee. As she grew into adulthood with her own family, Pat wrote many poems about their time at the beach. There was no place else that she would rather spend her vacation time but Tybee.
Pat was diagnosed with a Semantic Dementia in 2013 and moved to Florida two years later to be closer to her daughters. She will be remembered as a sweet, loving, and beautiful soul and for her love of collecting shells, bunny rabbits, cottages, and blue willow dishes; watching and listening to chimney swifts and hummingbirds.
She is survived by her daughters Terry Ryan (Loriann DeMelis) and Kay Glendy (Terry) both of Merritt Island, Fla.; grandson Ryan Moody (fiancé Brittany McDougel), Athens; brothers and sisters in law Ira Ryan Jr (Mary), Marie Dillon, and Joe Ryan (Honey) all of Savannah; many cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to her long-time caregivers, Janice English, and Rohan McIntyre, and to the nurses and staff at Hospice of St. Francis.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace, Amen. May her soul and the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration at TheAFTD.org or by calling 1-866-507-7222.
Visitation was June 2, at Baker McCullough Funeral Home Hubert C. Baker Chapel from 5 to 7 p.m., with a Rosary at 6 p.m. Limited to 50 guests.
Funeral Mass was held June 3, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist.
Graveside services are private.
Baker McCullough Funeral Home Hubert C. Baker Chapel was in charge of arrangements. 7415 Hodgson Memorial Drive Savannah, GA 31406 912-927-1999.
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