John F. Rian - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

May 14, 1935 - November 7, 2022


John Francis Rian, age 87 and a longtime Richfield resident, passed away peacefully on Monday, November 7, 2022. John was born in Fergus Falls, MN, on May 14, 1935, to Wencil and Elizabeth Gilloley Rian. He grew up in Elizabeth, MN, where his family owned the General Store and Post Office, and he attended school through eighth grade. In 1953, John graduated from Washington High School in Fergus Falls, where he was crowned homecoming king and known for his quick wit, musical and athletic ability. He played on the baseball team, sang in the Men’s Choir, and tutored students in math at St. John's University, where he double majored in math and physics, graduating in 1957. He served in the army in Huntsville, Alabama 1958-1960, where he played baseball, got his start as a software engineer and exposure to the space program. His analytical ability afforded him a successful career at Control Data Corp., where he was involved in what he called a ‘secret’ NASA project. John was married in 1980 to Marianna Warren, who was taken by cancer at a young age. After retirement, he maintained a second home in Sun City West, AZ, where he met Sally Hall. Sally and John were married September 25, 2004 and shared many happy and fun-filled years together. John enjoyed walking, singing, golf and classical music. In recent years John enjoyed sharing many special and daily events with nephew, John Johnson, wife Karen and their two children. Family meant everything to John and he stayed in daily touch with many by phone. He will be remembered especially for his distinctive laugh, quick wit, frank no-nonsense approach, as well as his humble, generous, and loving disposition. John was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Vincent James (Jimmy) Rian, Betty Dinndorf, Rosemary Johnson and Patrick Rian; wives, Marianna Warren and Sally Hall. He is survived by Myrna Rian, Patrick’s wife, and a host of nephews and nieces, including Cherie (Rian) Daum, Mary Rian Crea, Ann (Johnson) Petersen, Robert Dinndorf, Catherine (Dinndorf) Roby, Jolene (Rian) Kennedy, Jean Johnson, Nancy Rian Kelley, Tom Johnson, Patrick Dinndorf, John Johnson, Patricia Rian, Thomas Rian,
Steven Rian and Joel Rian. He also leaves stepchildren, Levi Hall, Pam (Hall) Moore, Tom Hall, Mary (Hall) Duckson and grandchildren.

Please click here to watch John’s service via Zoom.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in John’s memory to MN Special Olympics, Alzheimer’s
Association or MN Public Radio.





1 Comment

  1. Pam Hall Moore says:

    Rip Dad. Love you!! Pam

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