Donald Edwin Ryel

February 20, 1925 - March 28, 2019
Donald Edwin Ryel

Gifts & Memorial Donations

At 5:05 p.m. on March 28, at Life Care Center, Donald Edwin Ryel lost his battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was the son of Beulah (Slife) and Lewis Ryel, and the brother of Floyd (Dot) and Ruth, all of whom predeceased him. He was also predeceased by daughter-in-law Karen Ryel & Leah’s parents, Mildred (North) and Edgar Jones, & sister-in-law, Gladys Jones.

Don was born in Madison, Ohio, on February 20, 1925. During World War II, he served in the Navy, aboard the USS Molala & the USS Ajax. He had been loaned to Liscome Bay converted carrier, which was sunk in November 1943 at Makin Island, He was one of 8 crew members who survived after 3 days in the Pacific Ocean! He attended Youngstown College (Univ.), and Cleveland Institute of Music, both in Ohio.

He was employed in Ohio and Vermont, retiring as Cash Manager at Green Mountain Power Corporation in So. Burlington, Vt. In retirement, he returned to his love of music, playing clarinet in Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, Hendersonville Community Band, Buddy K Big Band, and Basin Street Dixieland Band, as well as teaching clarinet & saxophone.

He was divorced from Marian (Chapman), mother of his son John. On June 18, 1983, he married Leah (Jones Bowen), who survives him. Also surviving are John Ryel, grandchild Gretchen (Brian) Colleran, & her children, Ian, Gavin, & Madeline, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, children from Leah’s former marriage, Ann Bowen (William M. Smith, III) & her son William D., of Lutherville, Md., & Mark (Joy) Bowen of El Cerrito, Cal., nieces Joyce Dorman of Pittsburgh, Pa., & Marsha (Bud) McElwain of Cortland, Ohio, & their son Michael (Jamie) of North Georgetown, Ohio, & Leah’s siblings Jean Ranallo of Englewood, Florida, Mildred Sarchioto of Schenectady, N.Y., Edgar (Martha Weiner) Jones of Del Mar, Cal., & Delora Jones of Burton Upon Trent, Great Britain.

Don & Leah had lived in Hendersonville for 29 years. They enjoyed time with family & friends, & were very active at Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church. The memorial Service will be held at Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church, 2606 Chimney Rock Road, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 13. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church kitchen upgrade fund, 2606 Chimney Rock Road, Hendersonville, N.C. 28792, to Four Seasons Hospice, 571 So. Allen Rd., Flat Rock, N.C. 28731, or to Interfaith Assistance Ministry, P.O. Box 2562, Hendersonville, N.C. 28792.


Saturday, April 13, 2019
11:00 AM

Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church - Directions
2606 Chimney Rock Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792

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  • April 03, 2019
    Melissa Oshins says:
    Don was a gentleman. My Parents always enjoyed visiting Leah and Don when they lived in Vermont. He will be missed!

  • April 06, 2019
    John and Carol Koerner says:
    Dear John, Our thoughts are with you...