TEWKSBURY, MA — John Shelly Ryals, Jr. age 77, a resident of Tewksbury for 50 years, passed away at the Lowell General Hospital-Saints Campus on Thursday, January 3, 2019.
He was the beloved husband of Sarah M. (Peterson) Ryals, with whom he celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 29, 2018.
Born in Refugio, Texas on November 13, 1941, he was the son of the late John Shelly Ryals, Sr. and the late Bernice (Mixon-Ryals) Steed.
John grew up in San Antonio, TX, where he attended local schools and graduated from St. Edwards College High School.
In 1963, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during the Vietnam War aboard the USS Newman K. Perry. He was awarded several decorations for his active duty service including the National Defense Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal with One Campaign Star.
Prior to his retirement, he was employed by the BNZ Corporation (formerly known as Johns Manville) in Billerica. Mr. Ryals was a member of the Wamesit Masonic Lodge AF & AM in Tewksbury and the Aleppo Shriners in Wilmington. In addition, he served for many years as a troop leader with Troop 41 Boy Scouts in Tewksbury.
Mr. Ryals enjoyed camping, fishing, and vacationing in Maine and Florida.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Ronald E. Ryals and his wife Shelley of Chelmsford, Shelly Ryals-Joncas and her husband Roger of Pelham, NH, and Karen Ryals-Reardon of Tewksbury; seven grandchildren, Eric Ryals, Abigail, Caroline, Ethan, and Sophia Joncas, and CJ and James Reardon; one brother, Lawrence Ryals and his wife Margaret of Refugio, TX; his nephews, Bobby and Daryl; his nieces, Kathleen and Sherry. Mr. Ryals was the brother of the late Rosemary Jolly.
Calling hours are Monday, Jan. 7, from 4-7 p.m. at the Farmer & Dee Funeral Home, 16 Lee St., Tewksbury, immediately followed by a prayer service to be held at the funeral home. Interment will be at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, MA on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 1:15 p.m.. Please omit flowers. Donations in his memory may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114.
(NOTE: The above obituary is from Farmer & Dee Funeral Home.)
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