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Dr. James Ryel, 1924-2014
Dr. Ryel was one of the most successful and well known Fullerton physicians for several generations.


Dr. Ryel, James W. 

Army Veteran, Radiologist, Dies at 90

Dr. James Wilford Ryel, a Radiologist who credits the United States Army for his career ambitions, died on November 17, in Surprise, Arizona. Separated for just 45 days, Dr. Ryel was preceded in death by his "best friend", Dorothy Ann Ryel. He was 90.

Dr. Ryel was born on April 5, 1924, in Long Beach, California, the only child of Harry Sylvester Ryel and Lulu Milz Ryel. Dr. Ryel attended public schools in Long Beach, graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in June 1942, where he was a member of the Comus Club. Undergraduate studies were done at the University of Oregon where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. A Doctor of Medicine Degree was conferred by the University of Southern California Medical School in 1950. Dr. Ryel and Dorothy Ann Seiler were married in Long Beach on August 19, 1947. Their daughter, Susan Lee was born on January 14, 1949, and their son, James William was born on October 24, 1952. 

Dr. Ryel served in the United States Army for three years during World War II as an enlisted man, and for three years during the Korean War as a Medical Officer, attaining the rank of Captain. After specialty training in the field of radiology at the USC Los Angeles County Medical Center, Dr. Ryel was appointed Chief Radiologist at St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton, California, in 1957. Dr. Ryel retained this position for 26 years before retiring in 1983. He was a member of many local, state and national medical and radiological societies. Dr. Ryel served as President of the Orange County Radiological Society and as a Fellow of the American College of Radiology.

Dr. Ryel had many hobbies over the years including flying, motor racing (sports cars and desert motorcycles) and scuba diving, but golf and fly fishing were his true passions. He will be especially remembered for the way he lived his life: always seeking adventure and forever cherishing his family.

He is survived by two children, Susan Mettler of Rancho Santa Fe, California, and James Ryel of Delray Beach, Florida; and two grandchildren, Matthew Mettler of Los Angeles, California, and Jennifer Mettler of Manhattan Beach, California. 

In keeping with his wishes, no memorial is planned.


Published in Orange County Register on Nov. 28, 2014 - See more at: http://obits.ocregister.com/obituaries/orangecounty/obituary.aspx?n=james-w-ryel&pid=173305373#sthash.0SnddrsD.dpuf


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James Ryel on May 2, 2016 at 11:27 PM said:

The best Dad ever!
Paul Saevig, '67 on November 28, 2014 at 9:11 AM said:

Many of us first met the Ryel family when Sue was our classmate at Richman Elementary School in the late 1950s. Dr. Ryel was a young physician then. In Fullerton, he was practically everyone's doctor at one time or another.

Sue, your dad will never be forgotten. God bless you and Jim.

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