Nan Ryan, novelist, died peacefully in her sleep March 14, 2017, surrounded by her family.
She was born in Graham, Texas, Aug., 11, 1936, to Glen Henderson and Roxy Bost. Her father was a rancher/postmaster in Bryson, Texas.
She was educated at Abilene Christian College. Nan held many jobs in Dallas, including announcing arrivals and departures for Trailways Bus Co. and selling real estate for Virginia Cook.
She met and married Joe Ryan of Commerce, Texas, in 1964. The ceremony was performed by County Clerk Tom Ellis, Joe's old company commander.
In 1981 while at the Safeway checkout in Del Mar, a headline caught her eye
on the cover of Newsweek — "From the bedroom to the Boardroom." It told a tale of how housewives were making tens of thousands of dollars writing erotic romances. Nan broke out the family Remington and hacked away. She sold her second novel and was off and running.
But her career and her life were changed when Aaron Priest ("The Bridges Of Madison County") accepted her into his powerful representation in 1986. A USA Today best seller, she also enjoyed critical success. She enjoyed her writer friendships and annual Romantic Times and ABA conventions.
She was a supporter and contributor to the Shriner's Children Hospital and Juvenile Diabetes since the '80s.
An avid sports handicapper, she won several USA TODAY Breeder's Cup awards, and in October 1978 at Del Mar she hit an eight-horse show parlay. As she approached the cages the tellers called out ... "who do you like?"'
With Willie Shoemaker coming out of the pack on "El Fantastico" to take third, she completed it. Though she tried again for the rest of her life, she could not duplicate the feat.
Nan was blessed and enjoyed her life.
Published on March 17, 2017