Obituary: Earl E. Ryan

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8/18/1931 – 8/31/2022

Earl E. Ryan was born in Matthews, IN on August 18, 1931, and raised by his mother Ocie (Coffin) Touchton and her husband M.E. Touchton.

Earl spent his youth hunting, throwing papers, working on a farm during the summers, and competing in basketball and track. He grew up during the depression and WWII and these events shaped his outlook of the world. He was cautious with his money and loyal to his nation. When the Korean War broke out, he enlisted in the Navy, spending four years in the Naval air division. He always said he ‘spent four years in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club but never was on a ship!’ After he was discharged, he enrolled in Indiana State Normal School, but there was the expectation that he would take art and music appreciation, while he was interested in history and current events. He decided to go to work. He worked for BorgWarner in Muncie until 1970 on plant protection. That year, he purchased a bowling center in Wagner, SD., moving his family 800 miles west.

Later, he sold the business, and moved to Kansas, managing Walnut Bowl in Great Bend, KS until 1998. He retired back home to Matthews where he enjoyed morning coffee with friends, going to auctions, buying and selling antiques and coins, and traveling. He enjoyed visiting national parks and seeing family in many states. Many of these excursions were taken with his grandchildren.

In his 80s, Earl chose to move back to Kansas to be closer to family. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease but lived independently until the last few weeks of his life. Earl died at home at Arbor Court in Lawrence, KS.

Earl is survived by his siblings Max (Betty) Touchton of Dover, TN, Bob (Sissy) Touchton of Dallas, GA, and Barbara Touchton of Newport News, VA.

He is also missed by his children Paula Bastemeyer (Mark) of Lawrence, KS, Phil Ryan (Beverly) of Nokomis, FL, and Pat Ryan (Cindy) of Reno NV. He is also survived by 6 granddaughters-Liza LuLay and children Jaylee and Tanner, Katie Bastemeyer (Derek McHenry), Daniele Bower (Patrick) and sons Colton and Blake, Sara Bastemeyer, Kelly Attaway (David) and daughter Cameron, and Megan Kieffaber (Quenten) and son Otto.

Memorials can be sent to Visiting Nurses, 200 Maine, Suite C, Lawrence KS. 66044 or may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

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