The New Hampshire golf community in particular and New Hampshire overall lost a true gentleman in the passing last week of Mike Ryan.
Ryan and the Derryfield Country Club, where he was the golf professional, were synonymous. And that was a good thing for Manchester’s municipal course and all who played there, from CYO and high-schoolers, and even younger players, to sometimes cranky senior citizens.
Ryan treated them all with the class and grace that were part of his makeup. He did so even while suffering recurring and serious bouts with cancer. It was testimony to his style that few of those golfers even knew of his illness.
Those who knew him knew that Ryan was instrumental in the capital improvement program that saved Derryfield from being a water-logged, limited-play course just a few years ago.
Mike Ryan lived long enough to see that effort turn Derryfield into a fine course that the city is lucky to have.
The city and golf were also lucky to have this gentle soul for as long as we did.