RYHAL, James

RYHAL, James Eugene

James Eugene Ryhal, born Sept. 4, 1937, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, met his Heavenly Father on July 11, 2021, after a long period of declining physical and mental health. As a young man and student at Grove City College in PA, he

enjoyed participating in every sport possible – baseball,

basketball, football, tennis, swimming, hunting, all water sports and later as an adult, adding golf to his list of

pleasures. He was a life-long avid supporter of his Pirates and Steelers. He majored in sociology and pre-theology, served in the U.S. Army during the Cuban Crisis and then graduated from the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio, where he earned a Master of Divinity Degree. He then worked on a doctorate from the Columbus Theology Consortium. The first church he pastored was Pitchin UMC near Springfield, where he met his wife, Sonya Eichelberger Ryhal, whom he married August 26, 1966. Two sons were born of this union, Christopher John and James Wesley, both of Springfield and a lovely granddaughter, Megan Ryhal, who also resides in Springfield. Jim was very fond of her fiance, Seth Cochran, but didn't live long enough to see their marriage. He is also survived by his Airedale named Bum; a sister, Mary Lou Dominico of NYC, as well as sister-in-law, Sally (Wayne) Adams of Roanoke, VA; brother-in-law, John (Diane) Eichelberger of Springfield; stepsisters and brothers, Donna Harrell, Greg, Gary, Scott Ryhal and Anita Newton of Shelbyville, Indiana; and several nieces and nephews, all of whom are left to mourn his loss. He was preceded in death by his parents, Evelyn and Obert McGaughey of New Castle, PA, and James W. Ryhal (Juanita) of Shelbyville, Indiana; brother-in-law, Michael Dominico of New York; and a stepsister, Jeannine Ryhal of Shelbyville, IN.

Jim and Sonya are members of Northridge UMC and previously for 25 years were members at High Street UMC. Prior to that, Jim pastored Lake City UMC in Lake City, PA, St. Paul, Catawba, Columbus Ave, Bowlusville, Tremont, Brighton, Pitchin and Donnelsville UMCs as well as three churches in Logan County, as approved supply while teaching at Greenon High School and Clark State Community College. He served for 10 years as State Committee chairman for Kairos of Ohio, a successful prison ministry and helped to organize Metro Ministry, an urban ministry of the United Methodist Church. After his 2nd retirement, he worked as an insurance agent for John Hancock, where he was top salesman his first year, and Phoenix Life Insurance Companies. Jim was also the successful author of two books, WHERE THE WATER IS COLD and EZRA'S JOURNAL.

His funeral will take place at Northridge UMC, 4610 Derr Rd., 10:00 am, Friday, July 16 with Pastor Ken Woode officiating, burial following at Ferncliff Cemetery. Calling hours will be at LITTLETON and RUE FUNERAL HOME, 830 North Limestone from 5 – 8 pm on Thursday, July 15. Memorial contributions may be made to the James and Sonya Ryhal Performing Arts in Education Fund at the Springfield Foundation, 333 N. Limestone St., Suite #201, 45503, St. Jude Children's Research

Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN 38105, or Northridge UMC, 4610 Derr Rd., 45503. The family is being served by Littleton & Rue and wants to gratefully give thanks to the competent and loving nurses and staff at Oakwood

Village, West Wing, Glaesner Health Center – with special gratitude to Kim, his faithful and favorite nurse. You may

express condolences to the family at


Funeral Home Information

Littleton & Rue Funeral Home