Brigid M. Ryerson, 95

Brigid Ryerson

Brigid Ryerson

Brigid Maureen (O'Hagan) Ryerson, 95, of Bridgton, died on Friday, May 27, 2016.

She was born in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, Ireland in April 1921, to Peter O’Hagan and Brigid McGuinness O’Hagan. She was the third of nine children.

Maureen was educated as a nurse in England at 17 years of age and served as a nurse in London during the “blitz” in WWII. As the war continued to escalate, she moved to Worchester, England where she met her husband, Captain Hurschel A. Ryerson.

At the end of the war, at the age of 24, she and her infant daughter, Deirdre Ann, boarded a ship to New York, along with other 'war-brides,' to join her husband and move to Maine. As Hurschel was a graduate of Bridgton Academy, they settled in North Bridgton to establish their life within the community and to raise their children.

Maureen had a very rich spiritual life. As a young wife and mother in a foreign country, Maureen very soon found common ground and friendship, together with her husband, with a fellow Irishman, forming a lifelong relationship with The Rev. J. Francis Brady. Father Brady was the longest-serving pastor (1929–68) of St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church in Norway, Maine, and serving as pastor for the St. Joseph parish in Bridgton. She undertook the responsibility to sew the Altar linens and later to continue to reverently launder and care for the Altar for over 50 years.

She became a Eucharistic Minister, serving at Mass and taking Communion to the elderly. She enjoyed her friendships with her fellow members of the Women's Guild at St. Joe's and in sharing her skills in creating and sewing banners for the Altar.

In her practical life, Maureen chose not to return to nursing. In support of her husband in raising four daughters, she and Hurschel operated a small local grocery store serving the community. As Bridgton Academy's enrollment grew to over 170 young men, they expanded the business into a "campus store." She very much enjoyed her interactions and friendships with the boys — many of whom called her "mom." She also served as an assistant in the Post Office at North Bridgton to her Postmaster-Husband during his vacations.

She and Hurschel together served Meals-on-Wheels for many years. She volunteered at Jean Edward's animal shelter, Harvest Hills, as a part of a volunteer team who came together to support Jeannie, raise money, and make repairs by having annual yard sales in the mid-70s to early 80s. She also enjoyed volunteering at the Bridgton Hospital coffee shop for a period of time.

Maureen was an avid walker and won first in her category on the "Four on the Fourth" for two years running at the ages of 83 and 84. She enjoyed gardening, her grandchildren and traveling, especially with her daughters Dee, Shan, Marlena and Teresa.

She returned to Ireland frequently over many years to visit her mother and family in England and Ireland. Maureen lovingly cared for Hurschel, her husband, until his death at home in 1984.

Maureen was predeceased by her husband, Hurschel; daughter Teresa Roby and grandson, Sean Hobson. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Deirdre and Timothy Angwin, Shan and Thom Gilligan, and Marlena and Keith Buzzell; her grandchildren, Tonya Angwin, Jason Hebb, Donald Angwin, Colin Hebb, and Jarrod Hobson, and several great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Fryeburg Health Care for the great loving care of our mother for the past two and a half years.

Family and friends may attend visiting hours on Friday, June 17 from 4 to 6 p.m., at Chandler Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, 8 Elm Street, Bridgton. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Joseph Church in Bridgton at 11 a.m., on Saturday June 18. In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Bridgton Community Center and/or Harvest Hills Animal Shelter.

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