Eight Bells: Ryan Richards
Published on October 25th, 2015
Ryan J. Richards, 40 of South Boston, MA died with his family by his side on October 22 (Aug 9, 1975 – Oct 22, 2015).
Ryan focused his life on family, sailing, and friends. Ryan spent hours sitting on the deck at Falmouth Yacht Club, après-skiing, distance running, and hours cheering on all Boston’s Championship teams. He did so with a perpetual smile. Ryan really knew how to get the most out of life, and every story about Ryan brings a smile to everybody that knew him.
A graduate of Falmouth High School class of 1994, he was a member of the varsity hockey, soccer, and sailing team. He received his bachelor degree from Tufts University class of 1998. Ryan was an active Board of Governor of the Falmouth Yacht Club, and an avid runner. He completed two marathons, countless half-marathons and many other road races.
Ken Legler, Tufts Sailing coach:
“For those of us on the Tufts Sailing team in the 90’s we were blessed to have Ryan and both of his brothers, Robbie ’95 and Michael ’00 on our great team. Ryan didn’t just sail, he helped others as training partner, race committee, and ATO fraternity president where most of his teammates were members.
I remember Ryan as a skilled and friendly competitor in junior sailing from Falmouth Yacht Club so I hired him to instruct sailing at Wianno Yacht Club. There he taught all age groups and got along really well with everyone, with the exception of a certain instructor’s dog. I have many mental pictures with Ryan smiling in all of them.
As a lifelong Falmouth Yacht Club member, Ryan grew up racing Beetlecats, Sunfish, Club 420s, and 210s. He was a founding member of the Falmouth High School Sailing Team, where he led the Clippers to winning the 1994 New England High School (NESSA) Fleet Racing championship, leading a small public school team over a conference dominated by prep and boarding schools.
He was the 1994 Beetlecat National Champion and went onto a strong college sailing career at Tufts, class of 1998.
After graduating from Tufts, Ryan stayed active as a racer, but also championed the sport through both race management and race promotion. He helped run several Falmouth Regattas and V-15 Team Racing Mid-Summah Championships, and the 2012 420 North Americans.
To help revitalize a fading adult racing program at Falmouth Yacht Club, Ryan was instrumental in bringing the Sonar Class to Falmouth, promoting both fleet racing and introducing several sailors to discipline of team racing. He served as event chair for the 2015 Sonar Worlds.
The Richards family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the medical teams at Tufts Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and especially Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Ryan is survived by his loving wife Colleen (McGrath) and his daughter Nora, his parents Bob and Diane of Falmouth, his brother Robbie and his wife Julie (Matheson) of Westborough, and Michael and his wife Molly (Rackley) of Hingham. Son-in-law of David and Sheila McGrath of Plymouth, brother-in-law to Katie (McGrath) Couture, and her husband Barry of Scituate, and Dave McGrath Jr. of Plymouth. He also leaves behind four nephews, Thomas, Trent, Tyler, and Ben Richards.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 am on Monday, October 26 at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 481 Quaker Rd, North Falmouth. Burial will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Nora Richards education fund, C/O Bank of America 871 East Main Street, Falmouth MA 02540 or at www.youcaring.com/richards_family.