Founder of Ryan’s restaurant dies at 89

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GREENVILLE, S.C. — The founder of Ryan’s restaurant, Order of the Palmetto award winner, and Greenville native Alvin Augustus McCall Jr. died on Sunday, according to his obituary.

WHNS reported that McCall, 89, was born in Pelzer and served in the Navy from 1945 to 1946 before heading to college in Tennessee and then returning to South Carolina.

McCall dabbled in several industries before opening his first Ryan’s Steak House in July 1978.

His restaurant concept grew to 270 company-owned locations and 25 franchised locations.

Ryan’s became a publicly traded company in 1982. Ryan’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier in 2016.

McCall retired from the company in 1992.

McCall and his late wife, Wanda, were involved with several charities, including Meals on Wheels, Epworth Children’s Home, Miracle Hill Ministries, Salvation Army, McCall Campus of the Upstate Chapter of the American Red Cross, McCall Hospice House, Christian Learning Center of Greenville, Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Research, and Triune Mercy Center.

Visitation will be August 8 from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, located 701 Cleveland Street in Greenville, and will be followed by a celebration of his life at 2:30 p.m.

Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

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