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Emma Lou Ryan of Douglass passed away of a sudden and short illness Tuesday, January 16, 2018, in Nacogdoches at the age of 88 years, 5 months, and 17 days. She was born July 30, 1929, in Houston to parents Nolan J. and Maurine (Lawrence) Clark.

Mrs. Ryan grew up in Friendswood, Texas. She often reminisced about her happy and carefree childhood growing up in Friendswood when it was a small community centered around the Friend's church and school activities and where everyone knew each other. Her elementary memories are shared in a book she wrote and illustrated for her great grandchildren entitled, "Dear Emma."

She graduated from Friendswood High School in 1946 and attended Mary Hardin Baylor College in Belton. Emma met Don, her future husband, in high school. While many of her friends and siblings attended Friend's University in Kansas, she chose Mary Hardin Baylor College to be closer to home and Don. Her education was interrupted in 1948 to marry Don Ryan. After having a family and several years after starting the Ryan Dairy, the family moved to Nacogdoches County. Emma resumed her education and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1963 with a degree in Home Economics. The family moved to the farm in Douglass in 1963.

Mrs. Ryan was an accomplished seamstress and a great cook and home manager. She and Don were a great team operating the dairy and trucking business, but she prided herself most as a homemaker, wife, and mother. She taught 5th and 6th graders for five years at Douglass School where her children attended.

Emma and Don were faithful Christians who loved God, his word and the church. Their children were raised and instructed to love and accept Jesus Christ. Their desire and prayers for the next generations and extended family to love Christ also continued with Emma. Her prayers have strengthened and encouraged many family members and friends. At the time of death, she was an active member of Faith Bridge Community United Methodist Church in Douglass.

In her eighties, Emma enjoyed some travel and her personal Bible study and piano playing. She attended and enjoyed the "Ladies Lunch Brunch", the Douglass Baptist Church Widow's Luncheons and the Sunday night Bible study group of friends. Emma greatly anticipated The Ryan Thanksgiving at the farm each year and the Ryan extended family gatherings at Christmas. She enjoyed anytime family visited Douglass or children took her along. She will be greatly missed till we meet again in Heaven.

Mrs. Ryan was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Don E. Ryan; infant son, Robert Wayne Ryan; parents, Nolan J. Clark and Lydia Maurine (Lawrence) Clark; brothers, Allen Clark and Jim Clark; and sister, Virginia Frazier.

She is survived by her three children and their families: daughter, Beverly Ann (Ryan) Collins and husband Thomas "Jackie" Collins of Douglass, Texas; their children, Thomas "Jeffrey" Collins and wife Moriah (Madison) Collins of Roseburg, Oregon; Michael Ryan Collins of Las Vegas, Nevada; and Karen Diane (Collins) Lawrence and husband Dr. Eric Lawrence and their children Hunter and Molly of Casper, Wyoming; son, David Wayne Ryan and wife Mary (Pape) Ryan of Lubbock, Texas; their children, Rebecca Renee (Ryan) Swedlund and husband SSG John Swedlund and their children Jacob, Haley, and Emma of Baumholder, Germany; Benjamin Haley Ryan of Lubbock, Texas; Matt Varnell and wife Amy (Burklow) and their children Breanna, Emily, and Kellon of Lubbock, Texas; and Micah (Varnell) Collins and husband Curtis Collins and their children Mary Alyce, Korynne, Hudson, and Millie of Cheyenne, Wyoming ; and son, Jerry Lynn Ryan and wife Donna (Hawk) Ryan of The Woodlands; their children, Gregory Alan Ryan and wife Lisa (VanQuaethem) Ryan and their children Sophia and Jake of Seattle, Washington; and Rhonda (Ryan) Sanchez and husband Carlos and their son Nicholas of Sugar Land, Texas.

A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, January 22, 2018, at Faith Bridge Community United Methodist Church in Douglass with Rev. Michael Parks officiating. Interment will follow at Douglass Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Jeffrey Collins, Michael Collins, Dr. Eric Lawrence, Carlos Sanchez, Jacob Swedlund, SSG John Swedlund, Benjamin Ryan, Gregory Ryan, and Matt Varnell.

Friends and family are invited to a visitation from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Sunday, January 21, 2018, at Cason Monk-Metcalf, located at 5400 North Street in Nacogdoches.

Please visit www.CasonMonk-Metcalf.com to leave your online condolences and memories.

Arrangements are under the direction of Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors, Nacogdoches.