Born into a farming family near Waco, Texas in 1920, Mary Ryan lived an enriched and full life by pouring herself out in service to others. She enlisted in the Women’s Army Corp in 1943 and spent 30 years in military service. Mary served on active duty for eight years and then in the reserves for another 22 years.
Her transition into the reserves happened concurrently with the enactment of the GI Bill, which allowed her to pursue her dream of college education. At the University of Maryland, she earned a degree in Psychology. Two years later she received a Masters of Social Work degree at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
After she finished her education, Mary set to work primarily in psychiatric social work assisting those with physical and mental handicaps. She spent 21 years in social work in California before moving back to Texas in 1978. In 1979, Mary’s sister was badly burned in an explosion in Arizona where she was hospitalized from February until June, at which point she was transported to Scott & White Healthcare in Temple for continued treatment.
The very next week Mary Ryan began what would become a lifetime of volunteer service to Scott & White. Over the next 30 years, Mary dedicated 30,000 hours of her time to assist others through our various volunteer programs, including hospice. In 2011, the Mary Ryan Memorial Social Work Annual Scholarship Fund was established to help inspire others to lives of service through the pursuit of academic degrees in social work.