Howard “Allen” Ryan

MANCHESTER – Howard “Allen” Ryan of Manchester and Marco Island, Fla., passed from this world on Sept. 21, 2019 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his beloved wife and children.

Allen was a loving husband, father, grandfather, cherished friend, entrepreneur, philanthropist, mentor, proud New England sports fan and all around great guy. He was a lifelong learner who took great interest in education, serving as Trustee on the boards of Thomas College in Waterville and Bowdoin College, his alma mater. Allen was a champion of educating children of Latin American migrant workers through his association with The Guadalupe Center of Immokalee, Florida. He took great joy in encouraging those around him to be their best selves, mentoring kids through college and beyond.

Born in Marblehead, Mass., Allen was the second of four boys in a lively Irish Catholic household. He attended Beverly High school where he excelled in sports, leadership and academics. It was there he met his future wife, Dianne, whom he loved and adored. He called her his best friend. The two went on to be married for 56 years and shared an inseparable bond.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Allen graduated from Bowdoin College in 1964. After three years in New York City, he went on to fulfill his dream of working and raising a family in Maine, ultimately founding NorthCenter Foodservice Corporation in Augusta. He attributed his success to his employees and the people around him and was greatly admired for his optimism, focus and ability to inspire others.

Allen’s greatest joy was spending time with those he loved. Whether boating on Cobbossee Lake, hiking Monhegan Island or tearing up the slopes at Sugarloaf, Squaw Mountain or Winter Park, Colorado, his day wasn’t complete without marveling at a beautiful sunset and thanking God for a day well lived. His passing will leave a hole in the hearts of those who loved him and the people and causes touched by his kind spirit.

The waves on Cobbossee will be a bit more calm, the ski slopes a bit less colorful without his bright orange jacket, dinners and sunset cocktails a bit quieter without his infectious laugh. His legacy will live each and every day in his children, grandchildren, family and friends, in the lessons he taught and the example he set.

Allen will be greatly missed by his wife, Dianne (Johnson) of Manchester; his daughter, Tracy Murray and her husband, Tim, of Evergreen, Colo., three sons: Stephen Ryan of New York, N.Y., H. Andrew Ryan and his wife, Tina, of Denver, Colo. and Michael Ryan and his wife, Rosa, of Longmont, Color.; three brothers: John Ryan of Escondido, Calif., Paul Ryan of Beverly, Mass., and Mark Ryan of Marco Island, Fla.; grandchildren, Sophie, Avery, Jack, Cameron, Evelyn and Caroline; as well as many nieces, nephews; and cousins.

There will be a visitation on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St. in Augusta.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Western Avenue in Augusta, followed by a reception at the Augusta Country Club.

Burial and committal prayers will be held on Friday, Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. at Pine Grove Cemetery, Bath Road in Brunswick.

Condolences, photos and stories may be shared at

Donations in Allen’s memory may be made to the H. Allen Ryan Scholarship for Maine Students at

Thomas College, or

The United Way of Kennebec Valley, or

The Guadalupe Center of Immokalee, Florida.