Mary May Ryan Ford, 91

Mary May Ryan Ford, 91, of Sandown, N.H., died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, Sept. 4. She formerly resided in Gloucester and Groveland. She was born in Lally Cove, Newfoundland, a tiny fishing outport, in 1927 to her parents Elsie and John Drake. She had many brothers and sisters. As a teenager, she moved to Gloucester and later proudly became a U.S. citizen.

She is survived by seven children Jeanette Wall of Ogunquit, Maine, and her husband William, Linda Taylor of Pompano Beach, Fla., and her husband Graham, Patricia Gallagher of Newburyport, Kenneth F. Ryan of Carlsbad, Calif., and his wife Suzy, Mary Beth Hillard of Sandown, N.H., and her husband, Richard, James Ford of Hampstead, N.H., and Anne Healy Ford of Derry, N.H., Lisa Polasek of Danville, N.H., and her husband Peter. Her grandchildren include Tracey Gilliam and Marcie Rehfield, J.R. Gallagher, Nicholas Wall, Tiffany Wilson and Sarah Mozuch, Keegan Ryan, Lauren Ryan, and Trent Ryan, Ryan Ford and Molly Ford, and Matthew and Patrick Polasek. She was predeceased by a grandson Andrew in 1999.

She leaves seven great-grandchildren, Piper, Bailey, Sam, Jack, Cooper, Annabelle, and Sawyer. She also leaves dear cousins in Gloucester and nieces and a nephew in Canada, as well as a dear, considered family member, Edwin Perrott, and dedicated friends Dinice Newman and Patti Bell. Over the past nine years that she has lived with her daughter Mary Beth, she has also enjoyed the company of the Rich Hillard children and their families. Many family members and friends gathered to celebrate Mary’s 90th birthday in July 2017.

Ford loved her church, especially Groveland Congregational and Faith Circle there, and her family. Her happiest times were spent surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Her family says: Mary grew up in a tiny fishing outport in Newfoundland, a daughter in a very large family of a poor, hard-working lobsterman who fought to eke out a living from the ocean. Only a handful of tiny houses were nestled on hills so steep and rocky that it appeared the homes would tumble into the sea. A shipping boat came to the port only once a month with supplies and medical help. Mary had the opportunity to come to the United States when she was just a teenager. She was forever grateful that this country welcomed her and provided so many opportunities for her and her children and their children. She always said, “This country has been good to me!”

A funeral service to celebrate her life will be held Friday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. from The Groveland Congregational Church, 4 King St., Groveland, MA 01834. Burial will be private and take place at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Boxford. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Faith Circle, Groveland Congregational Church. Arrangements are in the care of The Grondin-Carnevale Funeral Home, 129 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill, MA 01830.