John J. (Bud) Ryan – Bud served in the U.S. Army in the China-Burma theatre in a signal battalion working on the Burma Road from 1942 to the end of December 1945 under the famous General “Vinegar” Joe Stillwell.Upon his return to the States he settled back into his old family community, Brighton, where he became a partner in an insurance agency bearing his name.
In 1957 with his wife, Helen, they chose Needham to be their next home and the place to raise their eight children.
While his children were attending the Needham public schools Bud became interested in school issues and served on the School Committee for 9 years including chairman in 1970. During that time he also started his service as a Town Meeting member which lasted for 35 years. While a Town Meeting and a school board member he served on the Pollard Building Committee and three years on the Future School Needs Committee.
Bud’s interests were not restricted to the school system alone but extended to all things Needham which is exemplified by his service on the Personnel Board for 3 years including a year as chairman. During those years he found time to coach Little League Baseball for 5 years and along with his wife, Helen, was an active member of their church including serving on the church council.
This generous man did not restrict himself to Needham alone as he became active at Regis College where two of his sisters and four of his daughters attended. He spent 12 years on the Regis College Board of Trustees including a year as chairman and was also chairman of its Athletic Center Building Committee.
Bud remained close to his own alma mater, Holy Cross College where he has served as a very active Chairman of his Class, as President of the Varsity Club, and Chairman of the General Alumni Association. In 1971 Bud was the recipient of the College’s In Hoc Signo Award and is one of only two alumni honored by the College with a room dedicated in his name for alumni use.
In his business community, Brighton, Bud became president of the local bank for 10 years, and served as a director for 35 years. He also served on the Brighton Board of Trade for 20 years including terms as treasurer and president.
When Bud retired in 2000 at the age of eighty he still had more to give of himself and he accepted an appointment to the Needham Board of Assessors serving for five years.
Bud’s life exudes volunteerism, one of the principle ideals of the Melick Award. He believed in the communities which were part of his life and donated his time to each of them.