John E. Deady, 90: Lifelong educator, dedicated to civil rights

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FREEPORT — John E. Deady, 90, died Jan. 8. 

He was born and raised in Amherst, Mass. He graduated from Amherst High School in 1941, attended Deerfield Academy for one year, then went on to obtain a bachelor’s from Amherst College, where he majored in history, played football and sang in the glee club and double quartet. He continued his education at University of Massachusetts, where he received a master’s in education, and at Harvard University, where he received a doctorate in education. In 1947, he married Mary Ann Ritchie, also from Amherst, Mass.

Deady’s career was devoted to public education. After serving as a high school assistant principal, principal, and superintendent of schools in several towns in Connecticut and New York, he became superintendent of schools in Springfield, Mass., from 1967 to 1981. Among his most significant accomplishments during this period, was his leadership of the peaceful and successful implementation of a state-ordered busing program designed to eliminate segregation and provide equal quality education to all students in Massachusetts public schools. In recognition of his achievements in education, he received honorary degrees from Amherst College and Western New England College.

Following his retirement, he and his wife moved to Yarmouth, where he taught in the University of Southern Maine Graduate Education program until 1992.

During his retirement, Deady indulged his passion for sports, reading and singing. He was a regular golfer, an avid Boston sports fan, and he sang for many years with the choir at Sacred Heart Church in Yarmouth, where he was a parishioner. Despite having had both hips replaced on two occasions, he was a devoted walker until late in his life.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Mary Ann; daughter, Shauna Hyde, of Yarmouth; son, Conan Deady, of Freeport; six grandchildren, Darren Spehr, Nathaniel Hyde, Samuel Hyde, Alexandra Hyde, and Owen Deady and Amelia Deady; two great-grandchildren, Samantha Spehr and Benjamin Spehr; daughter-in-law, Cynthia Berliner; and granddaughter-in-law, Carolyn Spehr.

The family intends to hold a memorial service in Yarmouth, in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that friends consider a donation to the Deady Family Scholarship Fund at Amherst College, which supports financial aid for students with demonstrated need from Massachusetts, and particularly Western Massachusetts. Donations to the fund may be made to the Trustees of Amherst College, Office of Advancement, Amherst College, P.O. Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002-5000.

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