CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, US — Gerard A. (Gerry) Degnan, a longtime executive in the grain-based foods industry, died July 29. He was 71 years old.
A graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, Degnan began his career in the industry in 1974 as a sales representative with Universal Foods Corp. – Red Star Yeast Division. He was named area sales manager for the company in 1976. In 1981, he joined Archer Daniels Midland Co. as a regional sales manager for ADM Milling. In 1986, he was promoted to vice president and general manager of ADM Arkady, a producer of bakery enhancers, mixes and enrichment. He was named president of the division in 1988 and later to president of ADM Specialty Ingredients. Degnan left ADM in 2005 and joined Manildra Group USA as president. Degnan was active in industry affairs, most notably within the Allied Trades of the Baking Industry. He retired in 2015.
Degnan is survived by his wife, Melody Degnan (nee Kas); and children Tim (Melissa) Degnan, Brian (Nicole) Degnan and Elizabeth (Franco) Soma; grandchildren Zoe, Stella, Anthony, Sophia and Luca; and siblings Mary Ellen Lenehan (Tom) and Thomas J. (Topper) Degnan (Deb). He was predeceased by his parents Thomas J. Degnan and Anne E. Degnan and siblings Margaret Anne Feeney, Tony Degnan and Stephen Degnan.