Shirley Ryan remembered as ‘a force to be reckoned with’

Posted on October 10, 2016 in

Shirley Ryan remembered as ‘a force to be reckoned with’

It meant everything for members of Saskatoon’s business community to have Shirley Ryan in their corner, Keith Moen says.

“She was such a force to be reckoned with,” said Moen, executive director of the North Saskatoon Business Association.

Ryan, who held the post before him for 19 years, died Monday. She was born in 1929.

She had a sharp tongue and a sharp wit, Moen said.

She played up her reputation as a scotch-drinking chain smoker — Moen clarified that her drink of choice was actually whiskey — but also had a big, soft heart, he said.

“If you saw things from Shirley’s viewpoint, she was wonderful to work with. She was a very strong business advocate and represented our membership very well. Very passionate, opinionated and clearly a force to be reckoned with,” he said.

Ryan and her husband Bill previously owned The Commentator, a community paper in Saskatoon, Moen said.

Kent Smith-Windsor, executive director of the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, said Canada has lost one of its feistiest characters.

“Shirley was somebody who was comfortable to confront. Many businesspeople in Saskatchewan are too busy doing their thing to take their time to deal with the tough things that need to be said from time to time. And Shirley was comfortable filling that role.”

He also recalled her warm heart.

“So many times when someone was ill or had a personal tragedy, Shirley was the first on the line to call and to meet with people to say, ‘How do I help?’ ”

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