STEPHENVILLE— Barbara Allen Ryman Degnan, 98, of Proctor, passed away at Senior Care Nursing in Stephenville. Barbara requested a small, private service and at a future date, family and friends will gather at the historical Matagorda Cemetery for an informal ceremony where Barbara’s ashes will be buried beside her husband.

Barbara was born in Matagorda, Texas to James Nye and Sunshine (Dickinson) Ryman. She was the third of three children.

The family moved to Houston when Barbara was a young child where she attended Allen Elementary, Johnson Junior, and San Jacinto High Schools. She then attended Rice University, graduating with her BA in English in 1940.

In 1941, Barbara married James (Jim) Haines Degnan, a naval officer and fellow Rice graduate, at St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Houston.  

Following Jim's service during WW2, he went to work for U.S. Steel. During their marriage, U.S. Steel took them to Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Houston and Tulsa. Several years After Jim’s death in 1993, Barbara moved to a country setting in Comanche County, Texas to live on a family ranch.

Barbara was a strong Christian. She was a charter member of St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Houston and was affiliated with Berachah Bible Church in Houston for many years. She was a member and officer of the Hill Country Chapter of the DRT for over 15 years. Barbara was also a loyal member of the Blue Bird Society of Houston for 76 years. 

Barbara’s passions were her family and friends.  Everywhere she lived and visited, she made many friends and kept up with many of them all her life.  She made great efforts to keep up with many of her extended family members.  She also enjoyed cooking and had a wonderful gift of hospitality.

She is survived by her three children:  Nancy Graham Davis, James Nye Degnan and Mary Sargent Ames; seven grandchildren: Warren Davis, Martha Davis, David Degnan, Amy Seely, Hunter Ames, Carrie Ames and Nathanael Ames; two great-grandchildren and one niece, Judy Holmes.  

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, brother Eldridge and sister Virginia and one grandson, Harris Degnan.

The family would like to thank the staff at Senior Care Nursing and Universal Hospice for the amazing and caring service they provided during the last days of Barbara’s life.

Donations may be sent to Trinity Christian Academy, 17001 Addison, Addison, Texas 75001; or Matagorda Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 24, Matagorda, Texas, 77457-0024; or First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 113, Matagorda, Texas 77457-0113.