Margaret Madden Ryan

PORTLAND – Margaret Madden Ryan died peacefully in her home in Portland on August 31, 2021. Margaret was a cheerful shining fountain of creativity, brightening the world and making life richer and better for those who have her artwork, and especially for those who were lucky enough to know her.

Margaret was born in Dallas in 1945, the daughter of Katherine Earnest Madden and Robert Lidell Madden. She attended the Greenhill School in Dallas and Newcomb College in New Orleans.

Margaret raised her children in Dallas, and lived there until 1996, when she moved to Portland. She made art constantly: watercolors, oil paintings, acrylics, sculptures of people, animals and houses, dolls, assemblages, floorcloths, painted walls and murals. Her paintings, sculptures and assemblages appeared in many shows in Texas, and in the Elizabeth Moss Gallery in Falmouth. Her murals and art are in Kent’s Hill School, the University of New England Maine Women Writers Collection, Maine Medical Center, and many businesses and private homes in Texas, Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Margaret spent as much time as she could with her children, her grandchildren, and her friends’ children. She loved playing, exploring the natural world, and doing art with them. She always had dogs, and she loved and memorialized them.

Margaret was predeceased by her son, Peter Michael Ryan II.

Margaret is survived by her husband, Jay Setliff, of Portland; daughter, Jennifer Ryan Ball and her husband Jay Ball of Richmond, Va.; grandchildren James Ball of Norfolk, Va., Alexander Ball and Taylor Ball of Richmond, Va., and Ella Ryan of Camden. She is also survived by her sister, Micheale Pollock and her husband Mel, brother, Robin Madden and his wife Susan, brother, Joseph Madden and his wife Julia Callaway; niece, Katherine Pollock, nephews Scott Pollock, Joseph Madden and Michael Madden; and many far-flung cousins. Margaret also leaves behind her cherished friends, far and wide.

A celebration of Margaret’s life will be held Oct. 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. at her home.

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