Police Officer Ryan Finlay passed away on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. He was 43.
Ryan was born on Aug. 21, 1976, in Portland, Me., to Kathleen and Raymond Finlay Jr.
Ryan graduated from Sacopee Valley High School in 1996 and entered the United States Marine Corps that same year. He was stationed at Stewart Air Base located in Newburgh and was part of MAG49 Detachment B.
While stationed in New York, Ryan met Melissa and they married in July 2000.
In 2003, Ryan graduated from the University of Southern Maine where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree.
Ryan was a fan of all sports. He was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. His favorite teams were the Boston Celtics and the Boston Red Sox.
Despite this, he bravely decided to become a police officer in the city of the Red Sox rivals. He proudly joined the NYPD in July 2004 and, as destiny would have it, the Red Sox won the World Series the same year. Ryan was convinced he was the reason the “Curse of the Bambino” was broken.
Ryan was a proud member of Manhattan’s Midtown South Precinct.
Ryan loved being a police officer. So much so, he was the recipient of the NYPD Outstanding Company Sergeant Award in his academy class.
Due to his on-going battle with pancreatitis, he was frequently in and out of the hospital. He was the first patient at New York Presbyterian Hospital to have the Autologous Islet Cell Transplant in 2014.
After his ground-breaking recovery, he was selected to tell his story of recovery as part of the hospital’s Amazing Things campaign. The commercials produced as part of this campaign were seen in the tri-state area during prime time television events such as the finale of Dancing With The Stars and during the NBA playoffs which were playing in Times Square, which is where he was patrolled for years.
His face could be seen on taxis, bus stops and billboards all over New York City.
Ryan was also one of the 2015 recipients of the NYPD’s Theodore Roosevelt Award, which is given to those returning to duty after overcoming severe illness or injury. Through all of this, Ryan was always a beacon of positivity with a will to strive for excellence. He will be remembered by many as an uplifting individual who always sought the best in everyone.
Ryan is survived by his wife Melissa; his mother Kathleen of Standish, Maine; his brother Scott (Kristen) of Lewiston, Maine; his nieces Ashlee, Abbigail, Riley and Erin; his nephew Nathan; his grand-niece Layla; his dog Millie; his many aunts, uncles, cousins; his in-laws Lloyd and Lucetta Johnson, Anthony Johnson and Christopher (Jessica) Johnson.
Ryan was predeceased by his father Raymond William Finlay Jr.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project or Answer the Call.
Respectfully submitted by his wife, Melissa Johnson Finlay.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, at Smith, Seaman & Quackenbush, Inc. Funeral Home, 117 Maple Ave., Monroe.
A Funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Sacred Heart Church, 26 Still Road, Monroe.
Cremation will follow at Cedar Hill Crematory in Middle Hope.
Arrangements by Smith, Seaman & Quackenbush, Inc. Funeral Home (845-782-8185; www.ssqfuneralhome.com).