Dave Ryker was born September 20, 1908, in Howard County, Arkansas. When he was seven, his family moved to Broken Bow, Oklahoma, where he graduated from high school in 1929. He attended Oklahoma A & M University (now Oklahoma State) for one semester, dropping out during the Depression and enrolling in a business college in Oklahoma City in 1930.
He went to work for the Oklahoma Forestry Commission in 1931 and stayed there until he entered the Navy in 1943 as a chief petty officer.
Following the war, he returned to Oklahoma State in 1946, graduating in 1949. He then went to work for the university as assistant extension editor. In October 1952, he joined the staff of the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The foundation does agricultural and biomedical research.
In February 1957, he returned to the university as extension editor and remained there until retiring June 30, 1976.
Following retirement, he served a short time in the Philippines for the Agency for International Development. Upon his return, he worked a few months for the Winrock International Foundation in Morrilton, Arkansas.
Also in retirement, he worked full time on his family's genealogy, "Your Place in the Line -- A Ryker Genealogy," which was published and is in the Library of Congress in Washington.
He moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1985 to be closer to his son and died there June 25, 1987, at the age of 78.