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Pittsfield, MA 01201
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Marilyn Ryan

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Marilyn Ryan Obituary
Marilyn "Pat" Ryan

1944-2013 PITTSFIELD Marilyn "Pat" Ryan passed suddenly on February 23, 2013. (She also was known as Patti Smith and Patti Smith Ryan).

She was born March 5, 1944 to Robert Howard and Mary Theresa (Ziemba) Smith of Pittsfield. Pat was a graduate of St. Charles Grammar School, St. Joseph High School, Berkshire Community College and the University of Massachusetts and pursued graduate work in the fall of 1965.

In January 1955, Patti Smith entered her first sanctioned speedskating competition and won her division at the Eastern States outdoor meet in Saratoga, New York. Many more championships followed. She loved speedskating and coached local skaters in her spare time.

Following graduation from UMass in 1965 (English Major), Pat accepted a position in the Physical Education Department of the elementary schools in Pittsfield. A short time later she was elected President of the teachers bowling league. For many summers, Pat was a lifeguard at Burbank Park on Onota Lake.

In May 1971, Patti Smith was elected national Clerk of Course at the convention of the American Skating Union (ASU) of the United States held in Lake Placid, New York and the only woman in the United States to have such an honor at that time. Pat was a former President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Northern New York Skating Association. Pat received her most challenging task when she was chosen by the ASU of the United States and the Lake Placid Organizing Committee to be Chief of Protocol at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid. In May of 1985, she was honored by the ASU for the 30 years she devoted to speedskating. In May 1986, Pat was presented with the H J Gallagher Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship in Lake Placid. Pat has been nominated for induction into the Speedskating Hall of Fame.

As soon as the snows disappeared, she polished her golf clubs getting ready for another season of fun, relaxation and competition. An avid golfer, Pat won many championships in Berkshire County. She was a former Chair of Women's Golf at the Berkshire Hills Country Club (BHCC ).

In 1980, Pat became the first woman elected to the Board of Directors at Berkshire Hills.

Since her retirement as a General Manager, Pat's love was "her garden". Family, friends, neighbors and her stylist were recipients of her labor of love.

She leaves her brother Robert P. Smith of Pittsfield, formerly of Arlington, Va.

Pat is survived by aunts: Eleanor L. Pannesco of Pittsfield and Jane W. Ziemba of Dalton; also cousins Guy (Diane) Pannesco of Pittsfield, Mark Pannesco of Peru; Collin (Carole) Garstang of Phoenix, Ariz., James (Dorothy) Garstang of Southington, Conn., Peter (Karen) Ziemba of Dayton, Ohio, Eileen Schmeider of Omaha, Neb., and Colleen (Gregory) Donahue of Pittsfield. Other family members include Robert (Nancy) Nesbit of Wellesley, Mass.; Susan (David) Moore of North Pomfret, Vt. and numerous relatives in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and Washington.

Pat also leaves cherished friends in Sandy and Roger Hart of Lenox and Dan and Juanita Wood of Pittsfield.

The Reverend Christopher A. Malatesta, Pastor of St. Agnes Catholic Community in Dalton presided at private services.

Pat was laid to rest next to her parents in St. Joseph's Cemetery.

A scholarship fund has been established in Pat's memory with US Speedskating and donations payable to US Speedskating should be sent to Dwyer Funeral Home, 776 North Street, Pittsfeld, MA 01201.

Remembrances may be sent to her family via bobsmith829@nycap.rr.com

To view the obituary online visit www.dwyerfuneral.com


Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Mar. 5, 2013
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