Earl Alton “Butch” Ryder, 78, of Amarillo, TX finished his race on Dec. 30, 2020 after a hard battle with Covid-19.
Services will be at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, January 9, 2021, in the Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel, with Kerry Jones and Jason Wesbrooks officiating. Burial will be at Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Butch was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on Sep. 20, 1942. After graduating from Lazbuddie High School, he worked 3 jobs to put himself through Texas Tech University, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science and completing all but his thesis for his master’s degree. He moved to Amarillo where he taught and coached baseball, basketball, football, and track at Fannin Junior High, Austin Junior High, and Palo Duro High. While in Amarillo, he met Nancy Hesler, whom he married on September 23, 1972. They raised two children together, Jason and Tiffany. While he loved coaching, he was grateful to have his summers to spend time and travel with his family. Most summers the family loaded up in the van and drove to San Diego to spend time with Nancy’s parents, Glen and Lucy, who adored Butch and Butch adored them. Glen, more often than not, proudly and emphatically called Butch “Coach”. During one of those summer visits, Glen, being a decorated Flying Tiger and flight examiner, gave Butch his final solo flight exam that earned Butch his pilot’s license. It was hard to tell who was prouder that day.
Upon retirement, he and Nancy moved to Tennessee to enjoy that part of this great nation. Together, they built a home and triple-decker barn, fished on Douglas Lake, and enjoyed great neighbors and church family. After 18 years away from the High Plains, this Texas boy yearned to return to the Panhandle, where he spent his last four years surrounded by family.
Butch was a dynamic man and there seemed to be nothing he could not learn to do. Mathematician, carpenter, mechanic, gardener, baker, auto body repair, dog whisperer, and pilot of his Cessna 182. His family knew if anything was in need of repair or to be built, he would know just what to do. He rescued his kids and grandkids multiple times from broken down vehicles. When Nancy described something she wanted built, he would grab the pencil he kept tucked under his baseball hat by his ear and begin to draw up plans.
When he was not busy with DIY projects, he loved being on the sidelines of any sporting event he could attend, especially if his kids or grandkids were on the field. Being a proud Red Raider, he enjoyed watching Texas Tech play and always had his “Guns Up”. He loved going to any area high school football game and often took notes of the players’ stats in the game program.
Butch wore many hats, literally and figuratively, and went by many names; Dad, Daddy, Earl the Pearl, Shuggie, Coach, Da-Da Butch, son, brother, dad, uncle. Being prone to sunburns, the hats covered his head but the titles covered his spirit.
He leaves behind his wife Nancy, his son Jason with his wife Celene, his daughter Tiffany Oneal with her husband Trent, his grandsons Jaden Oneal with his wife Morgan, Jaxton Oneal and Ethan Ryder and his great-grandson, Kameron Oneal. Also, his sisters, Renee Moss and Melissa Keeley and several nieces and nephews. He was very active in his church home wherever he lived and many of his brothers and sisters in Christ will miss him dearly. His parents, Lalo and Melvin Ryder, and a brother, Paul, preceded him in death.
Use this link to live stream the service: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwxCSdC9KKslSEh3MxAy1pA/featured?view_as=subscriber