July 1, 1935-March 15, 2019

A memorial service for Dr. Donald Edwin Ryan will be announced at a later date.  Don passed away Friday, March 15, 2019, in Natchitoches at the age of 83 and graciously donated his body to medical research.

He was born July 1, 1935, to Edwin Lee Ryan and Margaret Moeller Ryan in San Diego, Calif.

He was preceded in death by his parents and the mother of his daughters, Carol Grace Ryan.

He earned his undergraduate and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.

Since 1967 he has been a resident of Natchitoches and an integral part of the Mathematics Department at Northwestern State University and retired from NSU in 1999.  Dr. Ryan was extremely proud of his efforts to create the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in the late ’70s by approaching Gov. Dave Treen, Rep. Jimmy Long, Dr. Robert Alost and numerous state senators to propose the school be established on the campus of NSU.  He was such a fundamental part in creating the school, that in 2017 when the school was proposing name changes, Paul Flemming felt Dr. Ryan’s and Dr. Alost’s names should be considered in the name change.

His life achievements included designing missile systems with General Dynamics and serving as a member of the meteorological division of NASA. During his tenure, he served as Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  He was the Director of Mini Colleges, a program designed for high ability elementary students interested in mathematics, chemistry, creative writing, psychology, geology and the arts.  He also served as Director of Superintendent’s Program for upper secondary school students with high abilities in mathematics, physics, literature, psychology and lifetime sports.

His pastimes included fishing, tennis, racquetball and badminton; even serving as the ladies badminton coach for NSU.

He is survived by his daughters, Cathlynn Brown and husband Mike of Natchitoches and Kelli Baquero and husband Ashley of Chapel Hill, NC; a son, from a prior marriage, Dana Ohlson and wife Nancy of Grand Junction, Colo.; and his grandchildren of whom he was so very proud of all their achievements, William Brown, Matthew Brown, Madison Brown, Ryan Baquero, Patrick Baquero, Daniel Ohlson and Lauren Ohlson.

The family would like to thank Legacy Hospice and the staff at the Courtyard, especially Lisa Prestridge and Connie Beard for the care given during such a difficult time.

In lieu of floral contributions, please make donations to the Mathematics Department at Northwestern State University in Dr. Ryan’s name by visiting http://www.northwesternstatealumni.com/donations/make-a-gift or by mail to NSU Mathematics Dept. c/o Alumni Affairs, 535 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA 71497.