Wayne Stuart Ryan, who died in 1998, was a product of Denton public schools.  He was a successful businessman, rancher, and community leader.

     Melbagene Ryan, his wife, donated more than 15 acres of land located on Ryan Road to the Denton Independent School District for an elementary school in honor of her husband.   
     "The opportunity to contribute to a school for educating children, perhaps for generations, will be a way for Wayne's dedication of helping others to be continued," said Mrs. Ryan.

     Mr. Ryan was born September 25, 1921 to Mary Emma Stuart Ryan and Earl H. Ryan on property near the site of the elementary school which bears his name. "Wayne love his land. It has been in his family for four generations. His great-grandfather taught school while farming Tennessee in the 1860's before his family started acquiring this land in Denton Country." Mrs. Ryan said.

    Mr. Ryan attended what is now the University of North Texas.  He was in the United States Coast Guard for four years during World War II, serving 24 months in the Pacific Theater.  He later returned home to Denton and became a co-owner of Ryan Brothers Plumbing Co., a mechanical contracting company that he owned for 27 years.  He also was an avid rancher.

    Mr. Ryan married Melbagene Tull in 1954. "Throughout Wayne's life, he was known for helping other people and expecting nothing in return."  Mrs.Ryan said.  He was a philanthropist and a community leader who worked to make positive changes."
    He served as chairman of the committee that worked to assure adequate fire protection to all citizens of Denton Country.  He also served as the first chairman and active member of the Lake Forest Good Samaritan Village Advisory Board.  On October 11, 1994, the Wayne Ryan Complex at Lake Forest Village was dedicated in his honor for his 20 years of service to the center.
    Another community project Mr. Ryan spearheaded was the restoration of the Old Alton Bridge.  However, Mr. Ryan died suddenly on July 25, 1998, of a heart attack, just a few hours before the Old Alton Bridge was rededicated in his honor. His other community organizations include D.O.O.K. Lodge, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Denton County Sheriff Posse, and the Knights of Pythias.
Last Modified on August 16, 2021