Murphy Funeral Homes


Francis E. Ryan

March 12, 1928January 4, 2021

Francis Edward Ryan of Vienna, VA passed away peacefully on January 4, 2021 surrounded by his loving family. He was born on March 12, 1928 to the late Francis and Sarah (Sally) Ryan in Scranton, PA. He is preceded in death by his sister, Marilyn Gernert. Frank is survived by his adoring wife of 48 years, Christine; children Timothy Ryan (Heide) of Washington, DC and Molly Ryan Allred (Robert) of Vienna, VA; and grandchildren Lilly, Annie, Reece and Carly Allred and Vaughn Ryan.

In his early years, Frank spent his time in daily service to the Jesuit priests at the University of Scranton. When he wasn’t serving the Jesuits, he was playing first base for the Central City Boosters. The homerun he smacked out of Memorial Stadium is still talked about to this day. His speed allowed him to steal many bases. Baseball was his favorite sport and he was an avid Nationals fan from the moment the team came to DC. How lucky that he got to watch them win the World Series in 2019!

Frank graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Scranton in 1951. During his 4 years there, he received a full scholarship for his continued service with the Jesuit priests. Upon graduation, he was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC.

In 1953, Frank was sent to Taipei, Taiwan for a 2-year tour. The journey to Taipei involved flying from Washington to Philadelphia to San Francisco to Hawaii to Wake Island to the Philippines to Taipei, all in 4 engine prop planes. Thus, began a career where trains, planes, buses, automobiles and every mode of transportation possible would get him where he needed to be in the world. As a Counter Intelligence Officer and as part of the Office of Security, he traveled extensively throughout the Far East, Africa, Europe, South & Central America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. There are few countries in the world that he did not visit. Not bad for a boy from Scranton who had never been anywhere other than Buffalo! World War II movie clips that Frank saw as a teenager helped foster a life-long fascination with aircraft. He was fortunate enough in his career to work on the U-2 Project with the CIA. During his time at the Agency, he received several citations, including a Certificate of Distinction and upon his retirement in 1977 after a 25-year career was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal. Following the CIA, he transitioned to service at the US Department of State. Moving to the private sector, Frank was Vice President of USATREX Intl, Inc. and then formed and was President of Rytec, Inc. Frank officially retired from working when he was well into his 80’s.

Frank loved life. He was an eternal optimist who always saw the glass more than half full and that there was no problem without a solution. He continued to travel the world for pleasure with his wife and children, exposing them to different cultures and people. Perhaps the most memorable was a trip to Ireland, where the Ryan family originated. Frank was a voracious reader of non-fiction works and multiple daily newspapers. He even found much enjoyment in reading Plato and Socrates. Along with reading, Frank enjoyed writing, whether it be compiling stories and events from his life or composing humorous poems and skits to entertain friends and family. The tributes he wrote and delivered at his children’s weddings were epic. Frank was also a great raconteur who regaled people with unbelievable events that happened in his life, many from his days growing up in Scranton and from his worldly-travels. He and Chris loved spending time at their home on the Outer Banks of NC, where they hosted many friends, including the We Ten every year for the 4th of July. Frank and Chris spent their weekends dining out, especially at singing venues. Frank was the person responsible for pushing Chris to sing in public; the first time being at a hotel piano bar in Bangkok in 1994. He was her biggest fan and when meeting new people always said, “This is my wife Chris; she sings!” Frank also felt fortunate that his children, Tim and Molly, remained local so that he saw them often. As they became adults, he loved sharing a bottle of wine with them and solving the world’s problems. The icing on the cake were his 5 beautiful grandchildren. Affectionately named “Frankie,” he delighted the kids with his funny jokes, tricks, nicknames and playing the “dollar game,’ which involved handing out 20 dollar bills every time they came over.

Frank was generous and kind to all. He was a great listener and made people feel as if they were truly understood. He was a perfect gentleman with a gentle soul and made friends everywhere he went, most of them life-long. A life well lived and long remembered.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at Our Lady of Good Counsel on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 at 11AM. In order to attend please follow the link to RSVP Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church.

Interment will follow immediately after mass at National Memorial Park, 7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA 22042.


  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021


  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021


Francis E. Ryan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Clark and Barbara Brewer

January 14, 2021

Clark and I watched Frank's mass online yesterday both with sadness and joy - sadness that Frank is gone but joyful because of the wonderful legacy he left with his family. Listening to Molly and Tim eulogize their father was so heartwarming - how proud they are to have had such a wonderful role model. Their stories of Frank were delightful and brought tears to my eyes. He was an extraordinary man.
Our love to you dear friend and may God give you strength to see you through this emotional time.

Barb and Clark


January 13, 2021

Your father was a great friend to my father and family. I have such fond memories of going on family walks to Cinnamon Creek only to surprise your family with a rowdy group of kids to feed and entertain. The Rush kids always looked forward to the Ryans coming over for a "garden" party of hamburgers in the summer. The snow-in for 2 days is a legendary story in our housedhold. I also remember the Christmas my dad was in the hospital. My mom had a lot on her plate and your family helped her out in so many kind ways, even keeping the Christmas bikes at your house so prying eyes could not find them. Knarf Nayr was everything you described, warm, kind, funny, generous and joyful! Even as a child, it was easy to recognize this in him. My dad loved his friend dearly and I'm so grateful God brought them together for the time that He did. Our country has lost another true patriot. My heartfelt prayers are with you at this time.

Cathy Degi

January 11, 2021

I have such wonderful memories of Chris and Frank at Tom Saputo's venues, parties, and a lovely time last summer, maybe summer before that? of Craig, Ali and I visiting for lunch at Chris and Frank's lovely home. He always had a smile and a hello for me. Rest In Peace Frank, you will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathies to Chris and the kids and grandkids.

Stephen Sherry

January 11, 2021

My heart goes out to the Ryan family for their loss. So many parallels in Frank's life and with my family. I met him only a few times at a piano bar in Vienna, early 2000's.
The place was my stop over rest area for the traffic to diminish in Tyson's Corner. Christine would sing there on occasion in the evening. My wife Edit and I were honored to have them attend our wedding reception in 2005.
My father Edward Sherry (b. 1923 - d 1999.) also served with the CIA for 25 years, in the Office of Security. At 10 months old I was living in Atsugi, Japan in late1950's, there for 4 years, then here in NOVA ever since.
Like Frank, my father was a Jesuit and was studying to be a Jesuit priest before meeting and marrying my mother. My paternal and maternal side ancestors are both off the boat from Ireland in 1800's.
Lastly, baseball ... My Dad was Brooklyn Dodger fan, took my brother and I to the Washington Senators games in the 1960's
Rest in Peace Frank Ryan, I concur, "one of the greats and giants from the "Greatest Generation".


January 8, 2021

I have many fond memories of Frank and my father, Jack Kelly. Affectionately known as Frank Motalotz to my Dad, they were two Irish peas in a pod. One of my favorite memories was when my Dad and I visited him at his apartment and he was proceeding to blow up a potato in his microwave which he thought was hilarious and no big deal. He truly was a great man, patriot and dear friend of my father and mother. He loved teasing my mother and would send her funny post cards from overseas which even the mail man enjoyed to my mother's embarrassment. There is a special place in heaven for Frank and we lost one of the greats and giants from the "Greatest Generation".

Mark & Linda Richards

January 7, 2021

We will miss our dear friend the "Leprechaun" He was a intelligent, kind and generous man and could always make you laugh. We had so many good times together and we will always cherish those memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and the family.