Mary Louise Ryus


Mary Louise Ryus died peacefully in the early morning of April 27, at a care facility in Peterborough, NH, with birds and buds in full spring chorus.  She was 97 years old.  Lou, daughter of Hugh C. and Grassie B. Ward, was born on December 24, 1925, and raised in the family’s Beverly Farms, “Pump Cottage.” 

She attended the Shore Country Day School in Beverly, MA, before high school years at the St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, VA with her younger sister, Ellen.  She then settled in Manchester, raising a family and teaching in a nursery school she started at home on Tappan Street. 

Lou’s life took flight when she married David Ryus and moved to New York City in the late 1950’s.  Their decades in New York were full—raising three children and making good friends, along with interesting work and travels, including a five-year posting in London, UK, for Time-Life International, and, later, adventures leading tours for the American Museum of Natural History. 

Following retirement, Lou and David turned a summer rental in So. Hamilton, MA into a full-time residence, bringing her full circle to family and old friends, all of whom she cherished. She found pleasure and gave delight in her many activities such as volunteering at the public school, bridge, Barbara Thompson’s Fitness Works aerobics class, golf and working in So. Hamilton’s Bandbox. 

Preceding Mary Lou in death were her beloved husband of 54 plus years, David D. Ryus, III, and three siblings, Virginia W. Cabot, Hugh C. Ward, Jr., and Peter B. Ward. She is survived by her loving sister, Ellen J. Ward; three children, David B. H. Martin (Martha Bacon), Susan B. Martin and Michael D. Ryus (Heather Matheson); two stepchildren, Mimi Shannon and Peter R. Ryus; and four grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held at 3:00 p.m. on June 6 at St. John’s Church in Beverly Farms, MA.  In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made in Mrs. Ryus’s memory to St. John’s Church or The Trustees of Reservations. 

virginia w. cabot, david ryus, beverly farms, mary louise ryus mary louise ryus, mimi shannon, st. john’s church, shore country day school, david b. h. martin, mary louise ryus, peter b. ward, peter r. ryus, ellen j. ward, grassie b. ward, michael d. ryus heather matheson, susan b. martin, barbara thompson, david d. ryus, hugh c. ward, martha bacon, the bluebird books