Ron Giard, former executive vice president of manufacturing at Geiger and former head of supplier Sun Graphix, passed away on February 3 in Fayette, Maine. He was 71.

After graduating school in Auburn, Giard worked in the shoe industry for many years before joining Geiger in 1983 as manufacturing manager. His career at Geiger spanned more than 30 years and he retired in 2014 as executive vice president.

In a letter to Giard written after his passing, Gene Geiger, MAS+, Geiger’s chairman of the board, wrote, “Thinking back, you impressed me the day you interviewed for our manufacturing manager job in 1983. You told me how I wouldn’t regret hiring you, and you were so right. When Bob Shimko retired, you became our vice president of manufacturing and head of our Sun Graphix division. You loved making products, but it was your leadership qualities—integrity, can-do positivity, caring and unfailing willingness to tackle any challenge or help anyone—that defined you. You were a rare combination of smart, fearless and kind. I trusted you to always do the right thing. You embodied the Geiger Way as much as anyone ever did.”

Geiger adds, “Ron, I’ve never known a finer person, and I will never have a dearer friend. I’m a better person for all we did together and all I learned from you. As I told you on Monday, it has been a spectacular journey.”

Outside of the office Giard enjoyed fishing, boating, woodworking, playing guitar and any activity that involved being with his children and grandchildren. After retirement, he could be found doing the two things he loved the most: fishing with his brother Dan and friends, and spending precious moments with his beloved grandchildren. He was past president and a director of the Echo Lake Association and was a Steward of the Kennebec Land Trust Properties.

Predeceased by his parents Gerard and Jeannette Giard, sister Patricia Richardson and sister-in-law Monique Giard, he is survived by his wife Ann; son John Giard and wife Tricia; son Anthony Giard and husband Brian; daughter Jennifer Giard Arsenault and husband Aaron; daughter Tamara Gleeson and husband Scott; five grandchildren—Maxwell, Morgan, Conor, Chase and Will; two brothers, Dan Giard and Fern Giard; brothers-in-law Tom Richardson, Bill Batchelder and William Cloutier and wife Patricia; sister-in-law Bon Michaud and husband David; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

A private graveside service will be held in May at Readfield Corner Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Giard’s memory may be made to Echo Lake Association, P.O. Box 322, Kents Hill, Maine 04349.