Family Login:

Thomas Martin "Tom" Ryan
  • Gull Lake Area Rotary Club
    P. O. Box 291
    Richland, MI 49083
  • First Presbyterian Church of Richland
    8047 Church Street
    Richland, MI 49083

Share This Obituary

Send Flowers
 Local Florists

Memories & Candles

“I. will always remember the family atmosphere Tom created as superintendent. The school system was blessed to have him ad our leader.ui,4 ”
1 of 9 | Posted by: Dennisok Keck - RICHLAND, MI

“So sorry for your lost. Prayers for you and your family Tom. ”
2 of 9 | Posted by: Sharon (Nelson) Moyle - Vicksburg, MI

“I met Tom as I started my career teaching at Richland High School. Tom shared his bowling team with me and his knowledge of the community. We had a...Read More »
3 of 9 | Posted by: james menchinger - Portage, MI

“We are so sorry for your loss. ”
4 of 9 | Posted by: Winnie Arends - Spring Hill, FL

“So sorry for your family' Loss. Tom hired me in 1967 and I spent 30 years with the district. I also worked with Greta as a reading teacher. We...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Janet Ragainis - Plainwell, MI

“Linda, our thoughts are with all of you. May your memories always be filled with the joys and love you shared with your dad and your sadness be...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Leanne & Terry Numbers - MI

“Condolences to the Ryan family.. ”
7 of 9 | Posted by: Susan Malik - Negaunee, MI

“Kristi - You are in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you peace. Love, Julie ”
8 of 9 | Posted by: Julie Kechele - Plainwell, MI

Sunset over Little Long Lake, 6/8/2018.  You will be missed Tom.  Rotarian Bill Thomas
9 of 9 | Posted by: Bill Thomas

Air Force Emblem

Thomas Martin "Tom" Ryan of Richland, MI

Tom, age 87, died Friday afternoon, June 8, 2018 at Borgess Gardens, Kalamazoo, MI.

Tom was born to Leonard and Beulah Ryan in Benton Harbor, MI on June 18, 1930. Tom had an older brother, Jack, and younger brother, James. Tom graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1948 and from Western Michigan University in 1953. After four years with the Air Force Band at Scott Air Force Base (Belleville, IL), Tom received an MA in Educational Leadership and later an EdS degree from WMU. Tom's association with Gull Lake Schools began in 1958 as band director of Richland High School. In subsequent years he was a guidance counselor, principal, and in 1966 became Superintendent of Gull Lake Community Schools. Tom held that position for 26 years until his retirement in 1992, at which time the school board voted to name the district's new school 'Thomas M. Ryan Intermediate.' Tom was choir director of First Presbyterian Church of Richland for 40 years, and was involved with Junior Achievement, Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Association of School Administrators, Gull Lake Area Rotary Club, and Village Green Arts. He was an avid sailor, enjoyed reading and watching baseball, football, golf, and tennis.

Tom was married to his first wife, Gretta (Pryor), until her death in 1993, and to Kristi (Forbes) for the last 23 years. Tom passed away on June 8, 2018 and was preceded in death by his first wife; his parents; younger brother; sister-in-law, Lois Ryan and brother-in-law, Dale Pryor. Surviving are his brother, Jack Ryan; wife, Kristi; son, Thomas G. Ryan (Debra); daughter, Linda Bouman (Brad); grandsons: Jason Ryan (Lisa), Christopher Ryan (Neda), Sean Ryan (Shannon), Ben Bouman, and Ryan Bouman; great grandchildren: Christopher, Colin, Rozalyn, and baby Ryan due later in June. Also surviving are brother-in-law, Jay Wells; sisters-in-law, Coranne Pryor, Carol Collins, and Leona Wells; several nieces and nephews; and close family of Kristi's (Holly Scribner and Shelly Forbes) whose children (Lindsey, Evan, and Jordyn) have always called Tom 'Grandpa.' Family was everything to Tom and he loved them as dearly as they loved him. Special thanks to healthcare providers at Borgess Gardens, Heartland Hospice and to Tom's church family.

Tom's family will greet friends on Thursday, June 14th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel, 9170 East D Avenue (M-89). The Funeral Service to celebrate Tom's life will be held on Friday, June 15th at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Richland, 8047 Church Street with Rev. Dr. Mark W. Jennings, Pastor, officiating. The family and friends will continue Tom's life celebration with a time of fellowship and a luncheon immediately following the Service in the Gull Prairie Room of the Church. Private, family interment will be held in Prairie Home Cemetery, Richland with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard bestowing military honors. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Tom's honor may be directed to the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation, the Gull Lake Area Rotary Club or the Church.