Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of three profiles on local women nominated for the Highland County Women’s Hall of Fame. An induction ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14 in the atrium at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro. Tickets are $16, and are available at The Times-Gazette.
Former Hillsboro business owner Charles Krainz was frank and honest in his opinion of Rosemary Ryan: “If she doesn’t belong in the Women’s Hall of Fame, who does?”
Though Ryan was not born here, she has cultivated a dedication to both Hillsboro and Highland County for more than 50 years.
Described as well-read and well-traveled, with an eagerness to learn more about whatever subject is at hand, Ryan is one of three women to be inducted into this year’s Highland County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Most people will recognize her name from the two decades she served as Hillsboro City Auditor and as deputy clerk for Hillsboro Municipal Court.
Former Hillsboro city councilman and longtime banking executive John Levo said of Ryan, “It was very apparent that she had the best interests of city residents in mind at all times.”
Ryan graduated from Chatfield College and Xavier University, later becoming the business manager for her family’s business, Ryan Surveying and Mapping.
During that time, she maintained the business as well as the family household, all while raising and nurturing her four children.
Her work in the community continues to this day. At the age of 78, Ryan generously donates her time, effort and money to many worthy causes, according to her nomination form.
Ryan’s list of service, past and present, is long and impressive.
She is one of the longest-serving poll workers in recent memory, and has been a familiar face at election time for at least three decades.
Ryan is a past board member and treasurer of the Highland County Historical Society, a member of the Hillsboro Women’s Club, and a contributor to the planning of the Hillsboro Bicentennial Committee and Festival of the Bells.
Her interests branch into the world of politics as well, with Ryan having served as a member of the Highland County Republican Party Central Committee and Republican Women’s Club.
She was also recognized as Highland County Republican of the Year.
But it was her involvement in the Highland County Domestic Violence Task Force that is perhaps most noteworthy, because only now can the story be told.
Rather than just talking about domestic violence, Ryan personally did something about it by welcoming victims into her home and providing them with a “safe house.”
For security reasons, revealing its location was forbidden. Many times, safety was an issue and her family expressed their concerns. Ryan’s response was simply this: “Someone has to be there when victims need a place to go.”
On two other occasions, she clearly re-defined the word fearless.
In May 1990, almost one year to the day after her husband, Charles, passed away, she was trampled in a city crosswalk by a 1,600 pound Simmental Holstein.
Ryan spent 10 days at University Hospital in Cincinnati and then returned undaunted to her duties as the Hillsboro city auditor.
In later years, Ryan’s fearlessness returned as she battled cancer and won.
For the better part of 50 years, Rosemary Ryan has proved her devotion to family and community time and time again.
Her participation and leadership in various offices, boards and volunteer positions is just one of the many reasons for her induction into this year’s Highland County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Tim Colliver can be reached at 937-402-2571.