MILFORD - Jack Ryder, age 74, of Milford, passed away Friday, April 19, 2013, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force, retiring after 23 years of active duty. He served in the Vietnam War, and spent time in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Iceland. He was a commander of VFW Post 4368, strongly believing that veterans deserve respect for their actions.
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Jack was quick to smile, made friends easily, and enjoyed telling stories. Renowned for his "little rides," it was not unusual for Jack to travel hundreds of miles by motorcycle to visit a friend, attend an event, or simply get a hamburger. The motorcycle community comprised a big part of his life. He held great love and respect for his brothers.
Jack believed in the value of hard work. He had high expectations, and inspired all who knew him to reach for a better life. He believed in second chances. He was an extraordinarily compassionate man. He found great joy in helping others and often donated his time to charity. He also knew how to throw a great party.
He is survived by his wife, Charlie; 10 children, Paul, Cheri, Scott, Kimmie, Bobbie Jo, Sean, Michael, Allison, Melissa, and Katie; 23 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
SERVICES: Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, April 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm St., Milford. A Mass will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. in St. Patrick Church, 34 Amherst St., Milford. A graveside service with military honors will follow at 1 p.m. in New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, 110 D.W. Highway, Boscawen. Memorial donations may be made to the New Hampshire chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 814 Elm St., Manchester, 03101, or to your local charity that supports homeless veterans. Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, Milford. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.smith-heald.com.
Published in Union Leader on Apr. 22, 2013