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In memoriam ~ James Ryan ’56

James Patrick Ryan ’56
Brother of Mike ’53 and Jack ’58  

James Patrick Ryan, age 83 of Aitkin, died Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at his home from complications of Alzheimer’s and the onset of Parkinson’s.   

He was born February 13, 1938 in Brainerd to Joseph and Caroline (Hassman) Ryan. He attended Mary Hill Academy in Aitkin, Saint John’s Prep at Collegeville, and then graduated from Saint John’s University with a Major in Sociology and a Minor in English. He joined the National Guard where he was a cook. James was united in marriage to Diane Marie Crosby June 30, 1962 at Saint Canice Church in Kilkenny, MN. From 1961 to 1971 he managed Davis Development Company and in 1971 he purchased Ryan’s IGA, selling in 1991. Jim enjoyed cooking, being outdoors, hunting, golfing, fishing trips with friends, and checking the stock market daily.  He was a member of Saint James Catholic Church and its finance committee, and served on the Aitkin City Planning Committee until 2018. He was a strong supporter of Saint James Catholic Church in Aitkin and the Crosiers Seminary. Jim cared about people – his friends, business employees, associate, and his community in Aitkin. He loved spending time at the hunting shack and especially spending time with his family. He was preceded in death by his parents: Joseph and Caroline (Hassman) Ryan, his sister Anne, and 3 brothers: Mike, Dick, and Jack.  

Jim is survived by his wife Diane of Aitkin, Daughter: Kathleen Marie Ryan of Minneapolis, Son and daughter-in-law: Patrick James (Brenna) Ryan of Baxter, 2 Grandchildren: Miles Crosby Ryan and Adeline Claire Ryan, Sister and brother-in-law: Mary (Rick) Godfrey of Oklahoma City, OK, Sisters-in-law: Judy Ryan of Aitkin and Helen Ryan Thielen, Many other special relatives and friends.  

Jim’s family would like to thank Riverwood Health Care Center and Heartland Hospice for the professional care received.   Funeral Mass will be 11AM – Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at Saint James Catholic Church in Aitkin. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Father David Forsman will officiate. Private Family Burial Service will be in Saint Thomas Cemetery, Aitkin. In support of our health care community, masking is appreciated.   

Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Aitkin. To leave a message of condolence please go to Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers to Alzheimer’s Association.