Lawrence O. Van Ryan, 80, passed away peacefully with his wife Barbara at his side on September 9th. Larry was born in Kansas City, MO, to Donald and Margaret Van Ryan. He was a graduate of St. Francis de Sales high school in Denver then attended Colorado School of Mines, where he earned a degree in petroleum engineering.
Upon graduation, Larry began a long and fruitful career in the oil and gas industry that he loved. He began as a production engineer for Standard Oil Company. In 1967, Larry moved to Farmington when he accepted a job with El Paso Natural Gas Company. During his career he was District Production Manager for Southland Royalty, Vice President Operations for Northwest Exploration, President of Coleman Oil & Gas, owner of Farmington Pumping Service, Chief Petroleum engineer for NM Oil Conservation Division, and Vice President of Exploration & Production for McElvain Oil & Gas Properties.
Larry was involved in various organizations within the oil and gas industry including American Petroleum Institute (API), Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico (IPA), and San Juan County Oil & Gas Industry Committee. He served as Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States (IPAMS). Larry also served a three year term as Director of Farmington Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Elks Lodge. In 2011 Larry was nominated by a group of industry peers to be recognized for contributions and significance to the oil & gas industry in NW New Mexico at the Desk & Derrick’s annual Industry Appreciation.
He married Delores Speight in 1966. They were married for 19 years and raised five children.
Larry was a great father. He loved taking his family on outdoor adventures, from snow skiing to camping and fishing. He never missed any of his children’s hundreds of competitions. He was the kind of dad who always showed up.
In 1987 he married Barbara Stephenson. After spending several years in Santa Fe and Denver they returned to Farmington in 2005. They enjoyed a beautiful life filled with family, friends, dogs, and mountains.
An avid outdoorsman, Larry enjoyed fishing trips with family and friends to Lake Powell, bird hunting with his Welsh Springer Spaniels, and hiking fourteeners with Barbara.
Larry is survived by Barbara Van Ryan of Farmington; Vance Van Ryan (Lori) of Houston, TX; Velvet Van Ryan of Scottsdale, AZ; Terry Van Ryan; Tamara Jamael; Wade Van Ryan; Sean Stephenson (Sylvia) of Santa Clara, CA; Tricia Johnson (Heath) of Woody Creek, CO; and Christianna Wilson of San Antonio, TX. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His close-knit extended family includes mother-in-law Shirley Stewart of Farmington, brothers in law and sisters in law.
Larry’s Catholic faith was very important to him.
A rosary will be held on Friday, September 25, 2020, at 9:00am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The mass will follow at 10:00am with Father Tim officiating.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association at act.alz.org/donate in Larry's name.