John Richard Mynar, 82, a retired vice president of Keebler Foods and a leader of youth groups in Philadelphia's Somerton section, died Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Elkins Crest retirement home in Elkins Park.

Mr. Mynar was a vice president with Keebler from 1977 until he retired in 1995, said his son Jack. He started with the company in 1966 as a salesman.

He was on the board of the Somerton Youth Organization for many years. The organization, which serves about 4,000 young people from the Somerton section of Northeast Philadelphia, offers sports and other activities.

He also was a board member of ARA Foods, now Aramark, a national food-services company.

Mr. Mynar was born in Philadelphia on July 3, 1930. He was raised in South Philadelphia.

He left school at an early age to help support his family. As a young man, Mr. Mynar worked at Frankford-Quaker Grocery Co., which operated markets in the area.

Mr. Mynar married Ramona Savino on Valentine's Day 1953. The couple had met at a church function in South Philadelphia, their son said. They raised five children.

In the 1960s, Mr. Mynar worked for Sunshine Biscuit Co., where he packed cookies before rising to district manager. He joined Keebler in 1966.

His son said Mr. Mynar always strove to help young people, noting that he was a leader of Boy Scout Troop 367 at St. Christopher Roman Catholic Church in Somerton for many years.

He was a longtime member of the church, his son said, and helped raise money to build the current church building on Proctor Road.

Mr. Mynar began volunteering at the Somerton Youth Organization from 1963 until 1995. He worked as a fund-raiser and mentor to youths there, encouraging them to play sports.

"He always believed that every kid should have the right to play, no matter their skill level, as long as they show an interest," Jack Mynar said.

He said that since the early 1960s, Mr. Mynar used the slogan, "It's better to build boys than to mend men."

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Mynar is survived by sons Richard and Robert; daughters Kathryn Koren and Patricia O'Mara; 16 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A viewing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at St. Christopher Church, 13301 Proctor Rd. A funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in William Penn Cemetery.

Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.