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Francis James Ryan, 98, board chairman and patriarch of design-build and development firm Ryan Companies since 1938, died Oct. 23 from pneumonia in Hibbing, Minn. He was part of the founding team of the company, working alongside his father, James Henry Ryan. Throughout his long career, Francis Ryan mentored employees and set the example for the company’s approach to work: Act with integrity, keep your promises, and don’t forget that we’re a family.
He knew all of the employees and was always happy to work with the team, whether on a big project or a small one. He treated employees with the same warmth and integrity that guided his relationships with clients. As chairman, Ryan never missed a meeting in 25 years.
Ryan is preceded in death by his wife, Clarice, and is survived by all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.