Evans Funeral Home

"Compassionate Funeral Service"

Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911



Gary Ryan

Gary Ryan, age 79, of Tolna, ND, passed away on Sunday, November 26, 2017, in Grand Forks, ND.

Gary Gene Ryan was born on April 29, 1938, in Moorhead, MN, to Carl and Elizabeth (Boule) Ryan. He was raised on the family farm in Eddy County, North Dakota.

He married Christine Nemec on February 4, 1961, in Midland, SD. Gary and Christine made their home in Midland working for multiple farmers and ranchers in the area. Gary bought a gas station in Belvidere, SD, and moved his family there. The family later moved to Pierre, SD, where he owned another gas station. They relocated to the family farm at Hamer, ND, in 1970, where he lived the rest of his life.

Gary was a lifelong farmer. When asked what he raised, he would answer "kids & grain". He spent many summers running his custom combine crew as far south as Kansas. He could make anything run and always found a solution to whatever problem he faced.

Gary loved music and loved to play with a group in a "jam session". Many years were spent with his favorite dance partner demonstrating the perfect polka steps. He was never happier than when listening to his favorite old time songs and artists. After retirement, Gary developed a love for golf that lasted the rest of his life. He golfed with family and friends every chance he got. He was an avid golfer year round as he wintered in Texas where he could golf with his friends from around the US and Canada.  He was a private pilot and whether he was flying an airplane, or just lying on the floor playing with a baby, he lived life to the fullest.

Gary had a passion for traveling and loved planning his next trip to see someplace new and meet new people. One of his granddaughters once said, "Grandpa knows how to wreck a perfectly good stranger" meaning he befriended everyone he met. He loved to strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone; no one was a stranger for long when he was around. He was also known to befriend any dog or cat that crossed his path; he always asked about his kid's and grandkid's pets and we all know the special way he had of talking to animals.

Gary's deep and abiding faith, strong work ethic, and unfailing honesty and integrity set an example for his children and grandchildren to live up to and strive for. "What would Dad do?" and "What would Grandpa say?" are questions they all have asked and will all continue to use as a guide for their lives. His counsel and advice was always sought after and were always thoughtfully given. Gary wouldn't tell you what to do, he would help you decide for yourself what the right answer was. The pride he took in his family was evident when he spoke of them by the smile he would give them as soon as he caught sight of them. He had a zest for life & was happy up until the moment he died. This amazing quality inspired everyone around him.

Privileged to have shared in his laughter and be loved by him were his wife of 56 years Christine, Tolna, ND; his children, Jeff (Mary) Ryan, Mesa, AZ, Karla (Russ) Wald, San Tan Valley, AZ, Marie (Dale) Snyder, Devils Lake, ND, Monte (Dawn) Ryan, Devils Lake, ND, Vernon (Jennifer) Ryan, Watford City, ND, Todd Ryan, Kimball, NE;  his 14 grandchildren, Stephanie (Randy) Rowland, Kasey (RJ) Gregoryk, Samantha (Joshua) Nelson, Beau (Nikki) Snyder, Jordan Snyder, Courtney Ryan, Elizabeth (Clay) Feldner, Klae Ryan, Colton Ryan, Emily Ryan, Cody Ryan, Simon Ryan, Amanda (Grant) McAninch and Garrett Ryan; his 9 great-grandchildren, Jackson, Cadence, Justin, Markus, Rowdy, Harvest, Forest, Emet and Kira;  his sister Valerie Schwab, Tolna, ND;  numerous sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Christine’s parents Edward and Elizabeth Nemec, a grandson Joshua Snyder; 6 brothers-in-law Daniel Schwab, Art Bergeson, Lloyd Vandermay, Charles Wyman, Edward Nemec, Raymond Terkildson; and 3 sisters-in-law Nora Wyman, Sister Edna Nemec, and Wynn Bergeson.



Thursday 5:30PM - 6:30PM, St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford, ND


Thursday 6:30PM Rosary, followed by his Vigil Service, St. John's Catholic Church


St. John's Catholic Church


Friday, December 1, 2017 at 10:30AM


Tolna Cemetery, Tolna, ND

Posted Condolences:
(Scroll down to send condolence)




Date: 12/21/2017

Message: Deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband, father & grandfather. When I was a youngster Gary lived in our house at 1047 Colorado Blvd, Denver, Colorado. He had moved down with his best friends Walt Hensrude & Lee Breckheimer just after graduation from high school. I would have been about 9 yrs old. Gary loved to play basketball at a park close to our house, so he would put me on the back of his moped & my job was to hold on to the basketball while we drove to the park. There I would sit on the sidelines or play on the swings while he played basketball & then we would drive home again. I am Ossie & Louise Haugen's oldest daughter, Verla. I hope this adds to your memories of a wonderful man.



Name: Greg & Pat

Date: Dec. 4, 2017

Message: We will deeply miss Gary but never forget his sense of humour and welcoming personality.  We will think of him every time we play canasta and struggle to make a 'casino', every trip we make to Boca Chica or Progresso, every time we use the word 'garage' or 'truck', and every time we remember the many good times we shared together.  We choose to believe that we will meet again some day.


Name: Susan Donaldson

Date: 12/02/2017

Message: I just saw the news about Gary.  I am so deeply saddened by this  Christine and family.  Gary certainly cheered me up every time I saw him.  He certainly will brighten up Heaven.  I will miss him.  Always remember the wonderful times the Ryan family had as these memories will become treasures.  May God comfort you all.


Name: Kerry Smith

Date: 12-1-2017

Message: My thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family. I truly enjoyed the time Gary served on the Eddy Co FSA Committee board and also back in my youth when your family sat in front of us in church in McHenry. Gary always had a smile on his face, was upbeat and brought a smile to everyone he came in contact with. God comfort and be with you all in his passing.


Name: Amber Rude

Date: 11/30/17

Message: So sorry to hear of Gary's passing. He was a great guy. Miss seeing you two at the cafe when I would waitress, he always had a smile on his face. Prayers.


Name: Aletta Salganek

Date: 11-30-2017

Message: Uncle Gary was such a family icon; it is hard to imagine family reunions without him greeting and teasing everyone.  He made us all feel special by taking the time to ask about our lives, remembering the details from year to year.  Life was always more fun when Gary was around and he will be greatly missed.  What a great guy.


Name: Sue Anderson Duckett

Date: 11/29/17

Message: Dear Christine and family,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you in your time of sorrow.


Name: Donald and Janie Orchard

Date: November 29, 2017

Message: Dear Christine and Family

We were saddened to hear of Garys Passing. We enjoyed many years sharing jokes, music, and just plain good times with Gary, our North Dakota/Manitoba, and 2nd Street PRP neighbor. We will fondly remember Garys happy and positive nature. We look forward to seeing you



Name: David & Lynne Shilliday

Date: Nov 28, 2017

Message: Chris & family - Our sincere condolences to all of you.  Gary was an important member of the Palm Resaca family and we will all miss him.   Keep your family close & you will get through this.  


Name: Sharon/Wayne Milne

Date: Nov. 28/17

Message: Wayne and I were saddened to hear about Gary's passing. He was a very special person who loved life. His big smile invited everyone to approach him and become a new friend....a rare quality in someone. He will be missed by all of us In the Park.



Name: Denise and Russ Belyea

Date: Nov. 28th 2017

Message: Dear Christine. So sorry for your great loss.  My prayers are with you and your family. You have a strong faith which will keep you safe and peaceful.  May the Lord be with you in this time of need. 



Name: Grace Augustine

Date: November 28, 2017

Message: Dear Christine, I truly understand the pain that you are now feeling. Please accept my sincere sympathy. Herb & I always enjoyed being with you and Gary.

Grace Augustine


Name: Pat and Murray

Date: Nov 28, 2017

Message: Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. 


Name: Terry and Maureen Scott

Date: Nov. 28, 2017

Message: We had the pleasure of meeting Gary and Christine in Brownsville TX. He lived life to the fullest and as the beautiful obituary stated, never met a stranger who did not become a friend?. We all can learn a valuable lesson from his positive attitude and embrace this journey we are on with such grace. To Christine and your beautiful family, cherish your wonderful memories of a man taken too soon.


Name: Janet Pickard

Date: Nov. 28, 2017

Message: Dear Christine and family...we are so sorry to hear of your loss. There are no words that I can express that help you deal with this moment in all your lives. What I can express is that Gary was a very special man, and we consider it an honour to have met him, shared in his laughter and his love of golfing and dancing, and his love of music! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. 

Love Janet and Jim Pickard


Name: Ann Cvach

Date: 11-28-2017

Message: Gary's obituary says it all.  He made friends with such ease and made everyone feel special.  He left behind a treasure trove of friends and family, and tons of loving memories to be shared by all. May God bring strength and comfort to you all.


Name: Matt & Sharon (Lepine) Wolf

Date: 11-27-2017

Message: Christine and Family,

We were so sadden to read of Gary's passing. He was a special cousin.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.


Name: Bob and Kathy Coverdale

Date: Nov. 27, 2017

Message: Christine and family, we were so sorry to hear about Gary, what a nice guy. Mark and Glenda told us stories about your times together and what great times you had and how much they enjoyed Gary. God be with you, you are in our prayers.


Name: Jacki Orvik

Date: 11/27/17

Message: I'm so sorry to hear of Gary's passing.  He always had a smile whenever I saw him, usually at a sporting event of some sort.  May your love and memories carry you through these difficult days.

Hugs and prayers,



Name: Les and Jolene Nemec

Date: 11/27/17

Message: We are sorry for your loss.  May he Rest In Peace and rejoice with his family in heaven until we see him again.  God will find a way to help you heal here on earth.  He will always be with you.


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