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John Ryder, 89

MONTEREY, Mass. — John "Jack" Alan Ryder, 89, formerly of Monterey, died Nov. 7, 2020, of complications due to old age. 

He was born to Tom and Clara (McAvoy) Ryder, Jan. 13, 1931, in Pittsfield and grew up in the city during its boom years. Within a few of years of marrying Lois Kisselbrock in 1952, they built a one-of-a-kind house in Monterey, from the ground up, where they raised their five children and he lived until 2014. 

He was a selectman and a school board member; helped to maintain the town's parks and numerous (and well-hidden) cemeteries, and for many years hoisted and lowered the U.S. flag at the Monterey Veterans Memorial Park. 

He began his career as a machinist at General Electric immediately after graduating from Pittsfield High School. Two years later he moved to Clark Aiken in Lee but spent most of his working career at Lenox Machine in Lenox Dale. He was known to be a fair supervisor, an exacting machinist, a perpetual problem solver, and a tough negotiator.

He built beautiful and intricate pieces of furniture, such as a grandfather clock and a dining room table, that his children now proudly own. He enjoyed concerts at Tanglewood and the latest exhibits at the Norman Rockwell Museum and Clark Museum.

He never lost his love of dancing or the thrill of taking a road trip; he and Lois visited 49 states over their many years of vacationing. He taught his grandchildren to shoot and they all would compete at the annual turkey shoots. And he took great care and pride in having the nicest looking lawn in the area.

He is survived by his younger sister, Marion Jennings, and five children: Sharon Ordeman (Erik), Karen Consolati (Jim), Charlene Keilty (Victor), Shawn Ryder (Shannon) and Scott Ryder (Maria) along with four grandchildren (Benjamin, Austin, Darren and Evan) and several nieces and nephews. 

His wife of 60 years passed in 2012 and his older sister, Doris Hockridge, died in 2019.

Funeral Notice: Due to the on-going COVID-19 health concerns, a memorial service will be held at a future date. He will be buried next to his wife in Monterey. Please make memorial donations to his favorite charity, The American Red Cross, in care of Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main St, Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances and condolences to his family please go to

Obituary Provided By: Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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Shawn my deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your father. May he RIP
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