ISU Group Founder Passes Away

September 29, 2009

The founder of the ISU Group of Companies, Thomas J. Ryan, has died at his home in Hillsborough, Calif.

Ryan was 85 years of age, and had melanoma.

In addition to founding and leading the ISU Group, Ryan was known for coming up with the insurance plan that allowed for the construction of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System.

The ISU Group of Companies is a unique concept in insurance that allows agents to remain independent but also to have benefits available only to national brokers, according to a statement noting Ryan’s passing that was released by the company, which is run by his son.

The ISU Group has over 100 offices located throughout the country.

Ryan was born in Philadelphia, Pa., to Dr. Thomas J. and Grace Ryan in 1924. He attended St. Joseph’s Prep School and Haverford College, which is located in a suburb of Philadelphia.

His first job in the insurance industry was with the Insurance Co. of North America, in Philadelphia. He then went to work with Fred S. James & Co. and that firm brought him to San Francisco in 1963, where he remained for the rest of his career.

Ryan is survived by his wife, Rita, his children, Lila Burgess, Barbara Ryan, Grace Ryan, Thomas Ryan, and Diane Adams, and six grandchildren.

“In lieu of flowers or donations, an act of kindness to someone in need would be what Tommy would have wanted,” the company statement said.

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Latest Comments

  • October 1, 2009 at 11:10 am
    Coleen Mulhern Rupp says:
    I had the privelege of working with Tommy while I was emplyed with Marsh & McLennan in San Francisco. He was still a consultant on the BART OCIP. Tommy was brilliant, candid... read more
  • September 30, 2009 at 6:10 am
    JOHN ERB says:
    I worked for Mr. Ryan from 1985 to 1988. The smartest person I have ever met. He will be missed by all who have had any contact with him or his companies.
  • September 30, 2009 at 1:46 am
    DTF says:
    I had the honor of meeting Tommy early in our careers and he was truly a gentleman. His last wishes stated by the Ryan Family are definitely those of the Tommy I knew with a b... read more
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