1940 - 2019

Gary Kissel, M.D. (I ’73)

Gary Kissel – Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions Dr. Gary Lee Kissel passed away on June 8, 2019, at Torrance Memorial Hospital in Torrance, California, surrounded by family and friends. Dr. Kissel was a caring and beloved doctor, husband, father, and grandfather, who will be missed by many patients, family members, and friends. Gary was born August 3, 1940, in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from California High School in Whittier, California. Gary graduated from the University of Washington, where he was a passionate member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and two Rose Bowl football teams. Under his mentor, Coach Jim Owens, the team won the national championship and was inducted into the University of Washington Hall of Fame. Gary wished to be buried wearing his purple Husky Hall of Fame blazer. Dr. Kissel earned his Medical Degree at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, as part of its inaugural medical school class. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at the Mayo Clinic and earned a Cardiology Fellowship at Los Angeles County Harbor/UCLA Medical Center, under the auspices of his much revered mentor, Dr. John Michael Criley. While he was in practice, Dr. Kissel enjoyed teaching medical students and was honored when he was promoted to Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Kissel was extremely patriotic and believed in serving his country. He was a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force and earned an air medal for helicopter rescue in Vietnam. As Chief of Staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Mason, and AYSO soccer coach, Gary contributed to his community in a variety of ways. Dr. Kissel was honored by the American Heart Association for his dedicated service and has been recognized as a Top Doctor in the Los Angeles area for many years. Dr. Kissel practiced cardiology in the Torrance area for over 50 years. He considered his patients and partners at COR Healthcare to be part of his family. Gary was beloved by many including his wife Carrie; son Cameron (Emma Leach); daughters Kara and Kendall; and grandchildren Sasha, Sappho, and Ludo. Gary’s parents, Jack and Jean (Shubin) Kissel, sister Marlyn, and step-mother Marge predeceased Gary. Gary is survived by an extended, beloved family of in-laws, nieces, and nephews, but Gary’s family reached beyond blood as he endeared himself to many.Gary loved with an infectious potency that was lost on no one. The depth of his compassion was unmatched. While his accomplishments were vast, his love of life is what we all carry in our hearts. He laughed, sang, and danced his way through life. And that’s exactly how his legacy will live on. While Dr. Kissel loved gardening and flowers, he was also very passionate about medicine and education. In Gary’s memory, donations may be made to the American Heart Association, Harbor-UCLA’s LA Biomed, or the University of Washington.