Francis P. Ryder

PLANT CITY, Fla. — Francis P. Ryder of Plant City, Fla., passed away on May 2, 2017. He was 92 years of age. 

Fran was born in Lawrence, Mass., and was the son of Steven A. Ryder and Josephine Brunelle Ryder. 

He moved to Athol, Mass., at a young age and lived in Athol until 1975. He then moved to Shrewsbury and was a laboratory technician for his brother Bob until 1992 when he and his wife Pauline retired to Plant City. Fran and Pauline had a fabulous life and would have celebrated 75 years of marriage in January 2018. They built a home for their family of five children on Lake Ellis. A painting of this home is in the homes of all five children. The painting was done by his brother Bob who played a major role in its construction. When he finished the home he became involved in the community, active in the Boy Scouts and coaching Little League baseball.

After assisting his children he decided to become active at work and became the chief steward at the Union Twist Drill. His experience as a real estate broker led to his becoming a town assessor and serving the community for several years. Being someone who never tired, he accomplished all of this while consistently holding two jobs.

Fran was a proud veteran of World War II and was a longtime member of the VFW. He was in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served in the Pacific Theatre. 

Fran was pre-deceased by his parents; his brother, Joseph; his daughter-in-law, Sally Adams Ryder; granddaughter, Tammy (Dave and Sally); and his grandson, Matthew (John).

He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Pauline Blankenship Ryder and five children, Fran and wife, Marilyn; David; Jean and husband Vinnie; Bob and wife Donna, and John. He also leaves his sister Rita Ryder Parker who was 100 this past February and his special brother and friend Bob and wife Jenny. Additionally he is survived by his grandchildren Kristin, Troy and Sean (Fran), Jason and Jennifer (Dave), Nicolle and Jackie (Jean), Andrew and Aaron (Bob), and Christopher (John) and 13 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Wells Funeral Home, 1903 W Reynolds St., Plant City, is handling funeral arrangements. Calling hours will be Saturday, May 6, from 10 to 11 a.m., with a Memorial Service at 11 a.m., followed by a reception for family and friends. 

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Melech Hospice House, Tampa, Fla. Condolences may be made online at

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Athol Daily News

PO Box 1000
225 Exchange Street
Athol, MA 01331
Phone: (978) 249-3535


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