Carmela “Mel” J. Ryan Donovan, age 91, passed away at home on June 26, 2019 with family at her side. She was born and raised in Burlington, NJ to Giuseppe and Nicolina (Pinizzotto) Rizzo. Mel was predeceased by her husband William “Bill” J. Ryan; her daughter Deborah J. Boor; her sisters Catherine Biondi and Frances Manzi and brothers Mario and George Rizzo.
Mel and Bill were married in 1950 after meeting each other at a New Years Eve party in Bristol, PA. They lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida before moving to Delaware in 1959 where they settled to raise their family. Mel worked for the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services as a social worker in the Division of Social Services. As dancing was her passion, Mel joined the Modern Maturity Center in Dover where she became a member of the Steppin’ Seniors and performed with them at numerous events. Mel was always looking for excitement and adventure and was the life of the party.
Mel is survived by her son Patrick W. Ryan (Georgia); daughters Barbara R. Webb (Michael) and Eileen M. Beebe (Craig); grandsons Sean Ryan, Eric Ryan (Amanda) and Ryan Beebe (Andrea) and great-grandsons Tyler and Parker Beebe; son-in-law John Boor (Cynthia) and life-long family friend Takako Kinney and her children John and Margaret.
The family wishes to thank Mel’s wonderful caregivers Rita Byler, Jewel Collison, Angela Vadakin, Linda Spear, Wanda Lehto and Barbara Sue Miller; Dover Family Physicians especially Drs. Shalini Shah and Sharad Patel. Mel’s incredible neighbors at the Grande Apartments made her last years very happy ones. Finally, Delaware Hospice ensured that Mel’s transition was peaceful.
Funeral Services will be held Sunday, June 30, 2019 at 3:00 PM at Pippin Funeral Home, 119 W. Camden-Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, DE. Friends may call beginning at 1:00 PM. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance at tsalliance.org in memory of Carmela; (or checks can be mailed to In Memory of Carmela Donovan, P.O. Box 99, Frederica, DE 19946), to the Church of the Holy Cross, Dover; or to the Modern Maturity Center Meals on Wheels Program.