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.

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  1. I send my condolences to all the family. I have had the pleasure of working with and becoming a good friend to Dr Kissel. He has taught me a great deal and he will always be in my heart as my friend whom I loved and respected. We’ve shared our stories about the military and I will truly miss him. My love and support goes out to his family.

  2. My condolences to the family. I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Kissel as a patient and colleague of my late husband Otto Munchow. He is one of the very few doctors that practiced medicine the old fashion way. He will be missed. I will offer this coming Sunday mass for him and his family.

  3. We were so saddened to hear today of Dr Gary Kissel’s passing. He was my Nana’s cardiologist and we have known him over 40 years. Such a sweet, kind man. Our sincere condolences to his family on this huge loss. He will be missed by so many.

  4. What a very sad moment today. Gary’s loving wife called me today to tell me about the loss of her husband, this very expert, thoughtful, kind, and compassionate physician, and close friend, whom I will miss terribly. I am not sure which role was the best: his being my physician or being my friend. Both were the best. Malin Dollinger, M.D.

  5. I am very deeply saddened to learn about Dr. Gary Kissel’s passing. I have known Gary for over 20 years. He was a very friendly, kind and compassionate man, ever cheerful and positive. My sincere condolence to his family. He is with our Lord now. Sam Lim, M.D.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. Dr. Kissel was a wonderful and kind person
    My family and I send prayers and may he rest in peace.

  7. We’re so very sorry to hear of the loss of Gary Kissell. He was a wonderfully kind, loving and generous man. All those attributes carried over to his professional life. A more caring doctor I’ve never known. Sending love and light to his family.

  8. I worked at LCMC with Dr Kissel for many years. He was always kind, pleasant, compassionate with patients, families and the staff. When in the Cath Lab, he was cool calm and collected. A cliche maybe, which Dr Kissel was not, but we knew that no matter what happened, Dr Kissel would keep it together.
    A wonderful man, person, MD
    My condolences to his family and friends

  9. Patient of Dr Kissel for many years wonderful doctor and and man !Shocked going to his office today and receiving this very sad news. May God receive him with his loving hands. Dr you will be so missed

  10. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the whole family! We loved Gary so much and his fun loving personality. So many wonderful memories will never be forgotten. He will be missed by so many. Our hearts are heavy for you Carrie as well as Kendall, Cam and Kara!

  11. I was a patient of Dr Kissel’s for over 10 years, I loved seeing him and talking about life, love and happiness. He always made me smile, I will miss him dearly….
    There will never be another Dr Kissel!
    My heart goes out to all of his entire family ! ❤️❤️❤️

  12. We will always remember your smiling face and the gratitude in our hearts for your outstanding care of our family.

  13. I am so deeply saddened to learn of Gary’s passing. He was an amazing Doctor. I was always greeted with a big hug and huge smile. My appointments always ended with a report on how his family was doing and he always asked about mine. Sending my love and prayers to his family.

  14. Gary was always lots of fun to be around. His son, Cam, and my son Jay were friends at school as well as through sports. I took Jay to the ER years ago for a health issue. Gary walked by and said hello, and without hesitation, asked us to call him if we needing anything. That’s the kind of Doctor & friend he was. Rest in Peace.

  15. Gary will be dearly missed. He was always a truly committed compassionate caring doctor advocate for his patients and a truly loving proud father. He lived a wonderful fulfilled life; my life was made better for his caring and supportive interactions. I benefitted and enjoyed each interaction with Gary, whether at a patient’s bedside, in the physician’s lounge, or running into him as neighbors. I am so grateful to have had the experience of practicing medicine with such a caring physician peer. I am so sad for his family’s loss and hope that his memories will help to model his children’s lives.
    My very best wishes and condolences for his family.

  16. Gary Kissel was a wonderful doctor, and just a special human being. I’ve been his patient for 10 years. He was so proud of all his family and their accomplishments. He took time to find out about me and my family, too. I will miss him dearly.

  17. Dr kissel was mine and my husbands doctor for about 30 years, we loved seeing him and will be greatly missed. He is in peace with the lord .

  18. We just found out the news and we couldn’t be more shocked. Dr. Kissel, along with a couple of others performed an emergency bypass on my dad in 2004. The mortality rate after such a surgery is typically 8 years. Well, it’s been 15 and my dad is now 98. This is a tribute to a great man. We continued to follow up with him every 6 months since then and he always remarked at my dad’s continued good health and I think he felt a sense of pride, knowing it was because of him. But he was always too humble to ever take such credit. I always dreaded the day when I would have to inform him of my dad’s passing and I even mentioned to him how, now that my dad is 98 I feel like each time we visit him could be the last. Ive been my parent’s caregiver for more than 10 years and he always asked me how I was coping and told me God would have a special place for me. He would tell my dad he had an amazing son and that he was lucky to have me. Well, we had an amazing doctor and we were lucky to have him. Thanks, doc. R.I.P.

  19. I just received a letter from Cor yesterday and I could not hardly read the words after the first sentence. Dr. Kissel was my cardiologist since he had his office in the 2 story building across the driveway from the old South Bay hospital. Not too long after I started seeing Dr. Kissel he told me that I had been his patient longer than anyone else he was seeing. I always enjoyed my checkups with Dr. Kissel because he was always interested in me and my family not just my medical issues. He was the most caring and giving person I know and helped me and some of my family members through some rough times. Last year in June he was routinely checking me to approve an operation on my knee and found I had a leaking mitral valve. He sent me to a valve specialist and I ended up having open heart surgery to replace that valve and perform 4 coronary bypasses. He saved my life more than once. I will always remember Dr. Kissel and the world has lost a true giant of a healer.

    My whole family sends our best wishes and prayers to his family. We were all saddened at his passing.

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