Gerard William (Jerry) Ryan

Gerard William (Jerry) Ryan passed away on May 27, 2020 in Maplewood, New Jersey, after a valiant three-year battle with cancer. He was 59.
Born and raised on “the rock,” Staten Island, Jerry graduated from Monsignor Farrell High School in 1979. He then attended The Cooper Union in New York City, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering as well as preferential status at McSorley’s Ale House. After moving to Maplewood in 1985, he earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University. He was completing his doctoral dissertation at New Jersey Institute of Technology when he passed.
Professionally, Jerry spent 15 years as a technical manager and research scientist at Bell Labs, followed by seven years at Avaya and five at Motorola, where he managed the software component teams for some of the earliest Android products, including the Droid RAZR and Droid2Global. At the age of 50, he embarked on a second career as a senior lecturer at New Jersey Institute of Technology, where students consistently lauded him as one of the best lecturers at the school.
In addition to all of this, the bedrock of Jerry’s life was public service. In 1992, Jerry began his service on the Maplewood Township Committee, the youngest person ever to have been elected. He served a total of 19 years on the Township Committee, including three years as Mayor from 1998 through 2000, again the youngest person to serve as Maplewood’s Mayor. He also served 23 years on the Maplewood Planning Board, including five years as Board Chair, a position in which he was serving at the time of his death.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Deborah Gaines Ryan; his daughter, Christina Ryan Finley, and her husband, Patrick Finley; his sons, Luke Ryan and Mark Ryan; his three siblings and their spouses, Jo Anne Ryan Carroll and William Carroll, Denis Ryan and Cher Roessler, and Ellen Ryan Manger and Tony Manger; three stepchildren, Lila, Andre, and Aaron; over 200 beloved aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and cousins; and a host of devoted friends.
Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, Jerry has asked that donations be made in his memory to the following local charitable organizations: the Maplewood Strollers (, Rent Party (, Achieve Foundation (, or Please send condolences, along with your favorite Jerry stories, to Arrangements by Jacob Holle Funeral Home, Maplewood.