James Raymond Angel, M.D., 69, of Lebanon, died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Sept. 17, 2020.
James was born in Lebanon and was the younger child of the late John and Jane Angel.
He was educated in the farms and fields of Marion County in his youth, but also graduated valedictorian of Lebanon High School class of 1968. He attended the University of Kentucky, where he obtained a remarkable 99th percentile score on the national annual chemistry placement exam, but chose to leave college early in 1971 to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. He graduated at the top of his class from the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1975 and completed his urology residency training through Tulane University at Charity Hospital in New Orleans in 1980. His academic accomplishments included being named to the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, winning the Tulane Medical School Owl Club Teaching Award and he was the National Kidney Foundation and American Urologic Association Scholar in 1977.
James left New Orleans and returned home to central Kentucky and founded his private practice in Campbellsville in 1980. He served the communities of central Kentucky tirelessly as a practicing physician and urologic surgeon for 38 years before retiring in 2018. He performed hundreds of thousands of surgeries and was a passionate member of the medical staff of Taylor County Hospital, now Taylor Regional Hospital, where he served as the Chief of Surgery for decades. He was instrumental in creating The Cancer Center at Taylor Regional Hospital and was a founder of Taylor Regional Urology, which continues his legacy of medical service in central Kentucky.
An intrepid adventurer and traveler, James explored the world but always was drawn back to Kentucky. A lifelong farmer, he was also an avid outdoorsman and conservationist and served as an appointed Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Wildlife for Kentucky's Fourth District for 13 years. He volunteered much of his free time to protect Kentucky's fish and wildlife and cultivate the next generation of adventurers through his time as a Commissioner and as an Assistant Scoutmaster with local Boy Scout Troop 616. His varied interests and fields of practical expertise included agriculture, hunting, fishing, chemistry and astronomy and he was a lifelong booster of University of Kentucky sports.
His interests may have revolved around the farm and the outdoors, but his true passion has always been his family. He met his soulmate, a young nurse at Taylor County Hospital named Sherri Sapp, who became his wife in 1982. Over the course of 38 years of marriage and love they were blessed with a large family.
James is survived by his wife, Sherri Angel, and their three children: Ben Angel, M.D. (Carolyn), John Angel (Sarah) and Meredith Angel, M.D. (Ryan); three grandchildren: Athena Angel, Vesper Angel, and Gwendolyn Angel; siblings-in-law, Michael Sapp(Shirley), Debbie Sapp, and Vance Smith; beloved nieces and nephews, Jordan Smith, Christy Sapp, M.D., Jason Sapp, Dawn Thompson, Dana Sapp, Jeffrey Sapp, and Kevin Sapp. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Jane Angel, his beloved sister, Elizabeth Smith; father and mother-in-law, Thomas and Edith Sapp, and his brothers-in-law, Terry Sapp and Thomas Sapp, Jr. and nephew Keith Sapp.
His funeral was held on Monday, Sept. 21, at Parrott and Ramsey Funeral Home with a private family burial afterward.
In keeping with James's wishes, memorial contributions may be made to the Make Today Count support group at The Cancer Center at Taylor Regional Hospital.
His family would like to thank his many colleagues, the entire staff of Taylor Regional Hospital and Spring View Hospital, valued managers Susan Kelly and Josh Purdom, his treasured friends and his many devoted patients.
Published in Central Kentucky News-Journal on Sep. 24, 2020.