The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

August 1, 2013

Edna Ryan


Herald-Banner Staff

COMMERCE — Memorial services for Edna Earl Jernigin Ryan will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church of Commerce, 1101 Sycamore Street. She died June 12, 2013, at Oak Manor Nursing Home, at the age of 105.

She was born on Feb. 6, 1908, in Fairlie to Jay and Willie Hammer Jernigin.

Her great-grandfather, William Jernigin, aided in founding Commerce. Sanford Hammer, her maternal grandfather, was a farmer and was once a riverboat gambler.

She graduated from East Texas State Teachers College in 1928 and did graduate work at Colorado A&M in Fort Collins, Colo.

While teaching in Harrold, Texas, she met Jeremiah L. Ryan. In 1932 they were married in the First Christian Church of Commerce.

Her first love was books and reading; therefore, years later, beset by divorce and hard times, she earned a master’s degree in library science.

She served as circulation librarian at East Texas from 1953 to 1958 and was librarian at Hobbs Junior High in New Mexico from 1958 until her retirement in 1975.

In 1975, E.E. returned to Commerce and purchased a duplex. She rented to students and faculty over the years and kept up with campus life.

A lifelong Democrat, she told of her father taking her to hear William McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury, in Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet. In her 90s she had a front row seat for a speech by Anne Richards.

She was preceded in death by her parents and three siblings, Jim Howell Jernigin, Woodrow Wilson Jernigin and Billie Jernigin Brown. Edna Earl mourned the deaths of her dear friends, Neva Nell Campbell, Maureen Irving, Ruth Jernigin, Roberta Johnson, Rosalie Monday, and Mary Lou Whitney.

She is survived by her daughter, Sally Allen; her son-in-law, Dr. James D. Allen; her son, Joe Ryan and wife Nan, the novelist; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and niece and nephews, Betty Brown Foley, Carl Brown Jr., Kerry Brown, and William Jernigin Brown.

The family wishes to thank the staff and management of Oak Manor for the loving care and attention given to their mother with a special thanks to Polley McDermott, Kim Hansford, Peaches, and T.J.

Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church, 1101 Sycamore Street, Commerce, Texas 75428.

 Jones-Walker & Son Funeral Home of Commerce is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be made  at www.jones-walkerandson.com and www.heraldbanner.com.


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