Gordon Lester Tryon

Gordon Lester Tryon, 85, of Kingsland, Texas, died May 20, 2019, in his home and surrounded by loving family. A celebration of life service was held on Friday, May 24, 2019, at Lakeland Hills Memorial Park under the direction of Putnam Funeral Home – Kingsland.

Gordon was born on June 10, 1933, in Amarillo, Texas, to John Lester Tryon and Dorothy Gladys (Boone) Tryon.  Gordon grew up in Amarillo, graduating from Amarillo High School in 1952.  Two summers before he graduated, he spent working as a cowboy on a ranch near Longview, Texas.  On the weekends he drove stock cars on the dirt track circuit which he said became the foundation of NASCAR. He married his beloved Nancy Jo Caldwell in Amarillo on Aug. 16, 1952.  Four children, three girls and a boy, — Diana, Dee Dee, Keith and Tracey — “one of every kind” he would say with pride, were the product of this union.

 Working on engines, whether cars, trucks, or massive gas compressors was an integral part of Gordon’s life.  For two decades, he worked hard as a compressor engine operator for Pioneer Natural Gas Company, moving his family from Amarillo, Pampa, a ranch near Alanreed, then to Minden, La., and finally back to Amarillo.  All this time, he read the Help Wanted section of the newspaper “looking for a job” and also to ensure he was not in the obituaries.  One day, he found “the job,” selling compressor engine gaskets and filters for a Borger company. Soon he and Nancy and their two youngest children, Keith and Tracey, moved to Fritch. By this time the older children, Diana and Dee Dee, had married and moved out into the world. While living in Fritch, he served on the city commission.  A born salesman, like his father before him, Gordon traveled throughout four states, traded stories and joked with all the men in his profession, and maintained a close connection with the myriad aspects of the oil and gas industry. He kept a set of “work clothes” in his vehicle.  If his clients encountered a problem, he jumped in and helped fix it.  After several years, he and Nancy began their own compressor filter and gasket company called “GξNTRY,” combining G and N and the first three letters of their last name Tryon. They ran this company out of Fritch until 1995 when they moved to Tomball, Texas, where Gordon took on a supervisory position for another company until he retired in 1999.  About 2005, life brought Gordon and Nancy to Kingsland in the Texas Hill Country where they finally settled down to true retirement.  Nancy grew increasingly ill and Gordon faithfully cared for her. He also loved to care for the building and grounds of CASA for the Highland Lakes adjacent to their home.

Called “Papa” by his grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren, Gordon adored his family.  Photo after family photo depicts him holding a baby, from his oldest daughter Diana in 1953 to his most recent great-great twins, Kimber and Remi, earlier this year. He may be best remembered  for never letting the truth get in the way of a good story, for always taking the time to help someone in need, for wrapping his loved ones in long, sweet hugs punctuated with stabs from the pens in his pocket, for driving around Kingsland with his little poodle Dolly hanging out the window,her ears flapping, and most importantly, for his deep and abiding love for his wife and children. 

Gordon is survived by a legacy of love which includes his daughters:  Diana and fiancé Mike Goss of Kingsland; Deborah (Dee Dee) and husband Vic Laramore of Pampa; Tracey and husband Gerald Wyche of Hobbs, N.M.; daughter-in-law, Robin Tryon of Amarillo; his sister Sue Brady of Point Pleasant, W.V.; nine grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, six great-great grandchildren (and one on the way); and Dolly. In addition to his wife, Gordon was preceded in death by his son Keith, his parents, and his brother Doug Tryon.

To those who would like to remember Gordon by helping others, memorials may be made to CASA for the Highland Lakes Area, 1719 Ridgeview, Kingsland, Texas, 78639 or to Tralee Crisis Center, P.O. Box 2880, Pampa, TX  79066-2880.

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