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Silver Crown
Thursday, 20 December 2018


Henry Ryder at the 2001 USAC Banquet. Henry Ryder at the 2001 USAC Banquet. John Mahoney Photo


Indianapolis, Indiana………Henry Ryder, who served in many capacities for the United States Auto Club for nearly four decades, passed away on December 17, 2018, following a long illness.  He was 90 years old.

Ryder was USAC’s General Counsel and began a long stint as a USAC Board Member in 1982.  He was Board Secretary prior to that and was also a secretary for the USAC Properties Board.

A leading Indianapolis attorney and a partner in the firm of Barnes and Thornburg, he served for many years beginning in 1960 as the General Counsel for the town of Speedway, Ind.  Ryder served in various prominent roles for a number of not-for-profit organizations. He was a trustee and former chairman of Hanover College, and was formerly a trustee of Purdue University (1983-1989) and served on the Board of Directors of the Purdue Research Foundation (1989-2003).

Henry Ryder was born on February 18, 1928, in Lafayette, Indiana, the second of three children born to Raymond Ryder and Mina Arnold Ryder. A graduate of Lafayette Jefferson High School , Ryder earned a social sciences degree at Purdue University, where his father was an education professor.

After serving as a lieutenant in the US Army, Ryder settled in Indianapolis, where he co-founded a firm specializing in labor and employment law. The Roberts and Ryder law firm grew, later merging with Barnes and Thornburg, where Ryder retired a partner following 54 years of law practice.

Ryder has served as president of the USAC Benevolent Foundation.  He has been a trustee of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, for which he also served as a former president; and has served on the board of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, for which he also served as a former chairman. Ryder is a life trustee of the Columbia Club Foundation and is a member of the Indiana Academy.

Ryder received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University in 1948 and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1951.  He served in the U.S. Army from 1951-1953.  He was one of the founding partners of Roberts, Ryder, Rogers & Scism, a labor and employment law firm which merged with Barnes & Thornburg in 1987.  He was a member of the American, Indiana State (ISBA), and Indianapolis Bar Associations as well as the American and Indiana Bar Foundations. He is past chair of the Senior Lawyers Section of the ISBA.

A memorial service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana at 11:30 AM on Thursday, December 27, 2018 with a calling 90 minutes earlier from 10:00 to 11:15 AM in the church parlor. The family will have a private burial at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Second Presbyterian Church or the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

USAC extends its deepest condolences to Ryder’s friends and family.