Life Story: Rita Virginia Ryan Martyn, 94; Township School Teacher, Golf Champ

Rita Virginia Ryan Martyn passed away peacefully on May 31, 2020 at Parker Home River Road where she was a resident for more than twelve years. She was 94 years old.

Born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ, to a large, loving family, she met Harry, her devoted husband of 70 years, on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach and together they raised three children in both Franklin Township and Bridgewater. Rita was an active volunteer in the Brownies, Girl Scouts, and her children’s elementary school activities. She enjoyed family gatherings at their home in Bridgewater where family filled the house with celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries, showers, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve.

Rita was a graduate of Newark State Teacher’s College with a BS in Elementary Education and earned her Master’s degree from Rutgers University. She was an elementary school teacher in the North Elizabeth, Franklin Township, and North Brunswick School systems instilling her love for reading into her young students. After thirty years she retired in 1986 as the reading specialist at Judd School, North Brunswick. 

During their retirement Rita and Harry enjoyed traveling to Europe and split their time at their homes on Hilton Head Island and in Rossmoor. She was an avid golf and tennis player and won 13 Women’s Golf & Tennis Club Championships at Rossmoor. She served as President of the Rossmoor Women’s Golf Club. She was an avid bridge and duplicate bridge player. 

Rita was a devoted catholic and communicant of Immaculate Conception, Somerville, Holy Family, Hilton Head Island, and St. James, Jamesburg. She enjoyed singing soprano in the Holy Family and St. James church choirs. Rita’s love of singing led her to join the Sweet Adelines. 

Rita is predeceased by her parents John and Alice Mara Ryan, her brothers and sisters, John Ryan, Helen Burke, Richard Ryan, Frances Brannegan, Alta Ryan, Sister Dorothy Ryan, William Ryan, Mona Ryan, and her nephews John Ryan, Robert Ryan, and Ryan Donnelly.

Rita will be dearly missed by her loving husband, Harry Martyn, her three children, Fay and Bruce Colligan of Monroe, Harry & Marjorie Martyn of Ellsworth, ME, and Kevin and Joanne Martyn of Bridgewater, her seven grandchildren, Tim Colligan, Jill Brotschul, Kaitlyn Colligan, Chris Martyn, Jeff Martyn, Elizabeth Martyn, Allison Samuels and their spouses, her fifteen great-grandchildren, and many loving nieces and nephews. 

The Martyn family is forever grateful to the staff of Parker Home River Road for their compassionate care and friendship.

Private funeral services are under the direction of Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street, Somerset, NJ. Internment will take place at BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Memorial donations in Rita’s name may be made to: Collier Youth Services 160 Conover Road Wickatunk, NJ 07765.

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