Cover photo for Donald James Ryel's Obituary
Donald James Ryel Profile Photo

Donald James Ryel

July 4, 1942 — March 20, 2023

Donald James Ryel

Donald J. Ryel, 80, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend died March 20 peacefully in his home.  Don was born July 4, 1942, to Archie and Anna Ryel in Caldwell, Kansas.   He grew up in Caldwell and loved playing sports including baseball, football, and basketball.  After graduating from Caldwell High School in 1960, Don attended the University of Kansas for a year.  His sophomore year he transferred to Emporia State University were he earned his Bachelor of Science in Education in May of 1966 and a Master of Science in 1969.  


While attending college, Don joined the United States Army Reserves and worked in the transportation division. In the Reserves, Don made life-long friends.  He retired in September 1973.


Following college, he taught fourth and fifth grade at both Gardner and Greiffenstein Elementary schools in Wichita, Kansas. In 1977, Don left teaching to be in sales with Spurrier Chemical Companies, who manufactured cleaning products for the restaurant industry. Don worked his way up to Vice President of Distribution Sales. He led Spurrier’s distribution national sales team and worked with national marketing groups.  Don retired as Senior Vice President from Spurrier in 2012.


In June of 1971, Don was introduced by a friend’s wife to Marcia Spurrier Miner who was a widow and had two children, Shelley and Marshall.  Little did Don know that he was about to meet the love of his life!  Later that summer, Don proposed to Marcia and they were married on November 6, 1971.  When Courtney was born, their family was complete.  Family was very important to Don.  Over the years, he taught his children how to have fun while working hard together on home and garden projects.  Many family trips were taken to Colorado and throughout the United States.


Don loved the Lord and was an active member and Deacon at Eastminster Presbyterian Church for over forty years.   He also participated in Sunday school classes, Bible studies, and a Christian family fellowship group.


Don was preceded in death by his father, Archie Ryel, and mother, Anna Ryel.  He is survived by his wife, Marcia Ryel, and three children, Shelley (Aaron) Packard of Wichita, Marshall (Kelli) Ryel of Wichita, and Courtney (Jim) Deffet of Platte City, MO.  His six grandchildren, Tatum Packard, Mason (Hannah) Ryel, Jenna (Justin) Holdaway, Morgan Ryel, Thomas Deffet, and Michael Deffet and five great grandchildren.  


A celebration of life will take place on Wednesday, March 29th, at 1:30 pm at Eastminster Presbyterian Church at 1958 N. Webb Road, Wichita, KS 67206 with a reception to follow.


Memorials have been established in Don’s name with:


National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Mid America Chapter

2020 W. 89th Street, Suite 100

Leawood, KS 66206


Memo section: Don Ryel



Eastminster Presbyterian Church

1958 N. Webb Rd.

Wichita, KS 67206




Click here to watch funeral service livestream:


Past Services

Celebration of Life

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

Eastminster Presbyterian Church

1958 N Webb Rd, Wichita, KS 67206

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