Burt T. Ryan, Jr., 84, who in a career spanning six decades established himself as a savvy bond dealer, trader, and salesman, died Thursday in his Ottawa Hills home from complications of Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer.
Poor health caused him to retire in June, 2004, from A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., where he worked after Ryan, Sutherland & Co. Inc. was dissolved in 1980.
"Nothing fired him up the way work did," said his son Carl, who is a copy editor at The Blade.
Mr. Ryan's specialty was buying previously owned bonds that were undervalued.
"He had a very broad view and an experienced view of markets," said Donald Solomon, a longtime friend and client. "He had a wide clientele, all of whom had great respect for him, for his being a savvy person in that line of business. He always did his homework."
Mr. Ryan was a 1946 graduate of Yale University, where he majored in civil engineering. He was in the Army Air Corps about four years and, based in England, was a radar technician-operator aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress.
He didn't have a career in mind when he returned to Toledo. His father and an uncle began Ryan, Sutherland in 1921. "The opportunity was there, and he decided he would try it out," his son said.
Eventually, he and his cousin, William Sutherland, Jr., took over from their fathers. Travel was part of Mr. Ryan's early career as he visited smaller banks in northwest Ohio and across southern Michigan and encouraged investment officers to buy bonds.
"He was essentially establishing himself," his son said.
The firm for many years was in the Hankison Building on Superior Street. Rent was low, and the firm invested in salaries and computers and calculators, then new - and expensive - technology, his son said.
Mr. Ryan saw early signs of consolidation in the financial services industry and, by the 1970s, "realized that his small company wasn't going to be able to compete indefinitely with big houses that had billions of dollars of capital to go in there and buy up a big bond issue," his son said.
Mr. Ryan was a former president of the Bond Club of Toledo. He played tennis into the 1990s.
He and a group of friends began holding an annual Christmas Eve lunch after World War II. Friends were added; friends died over the years, but the ritual continued. Though in a wheelchair, Mr. Ryan was able to attend the 2004 lunch.
"He was a very well-read, bright person," said Mr. Solomon, who became a member of the holiday lunch group. "He was a very good friend."
Mr. Ryan, formerly of the Old West End, attended St. John's High School, then in North Toledo, and was a graduate of the Loomis School, Windsor, Conn.
Surviving are his wife, Helena, whom he married June 24, 1948; daughters, Nathalie Hoyt, Kathleen Ryan, Margaret Ale, and Betsy Glenn; sons, Carl and James Ryan; sister, Sarah Donnelly; brothers, Joseph, David, and Frank Ryan, and six grandchildren.
There will be no visitation. Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Gesu Church, of which he was a member. Arrangements are by the J. Jeffrey Fretti Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio.