Dr. Alexander "Fleet" Ryland, III, 1946-2024
Last updated 2/12/2024 at 12:29pm
Born on April 5, 1946, in Richmond, VA, Fleet was the cherished son of the late Alexander and Brennan Ryland. Growing up primarily in Sarasota, Fleet attended Riverview High School before proudly serving in the Navy. It was during this time that he found his lifelong companion, Theresa, whom he married in 1969.
Pursuing his passion for veterinary medicine, Fleet attended the University of Florida in 1974, eventually bringing his expertise to Lake Wales Veterinary Clinic in 1981, where he touched countless lives with his compassion and skill.
Fleet was not just a veterinarian; he was a pillar of his community. An active member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Fleet dedicated his time to various roles, including serving on the Vestry, lending his voice to the choir, and contributing his talents as Junior Warden.
Beyond his church community, Fleet found joy in music, participating in the Lake Wales Chorale and showcasing his percussion skills with Junior & the M.D.’s band. His commitment to conservation of the Lake Wales area led him to be a member of organizations like Crooked Lake Defenders, the Ridge Veterinary Medical Society, Ducks Unlimited and (previously) the Gainesville and Winter Haven Jaycee Organization where he built lifelong friendships and made a lasting impact.
Fleet’s legacy is one of love and family. He was always very proud of his family and their accomplishments, often bragging about them to anyone who would listen. He was a loyal and loving husband to his wife of 54 years, Theresa. Fleet was dedicated to his career, approaching each day with passion and professionalism. He loved talking to people and always had good stories, funny jokes, and knew how to have a good time.
He leaves behind his beloved wife, Theresa Ryland; two daughters Heather Ryland Keen and husband, Dwight, of Lake Wales and Stephanie Ryland Woods and husband, Jason, of Tampa; one sister, Brennan Gorrie of Sarasota, a niece, Vicki Goffinet and husband Daniel Goffinet; four grandchildren, Julia Thompson and husband, Seth, Ryland Marbutt, Bowen Keen and Alexandra Woods; and one great-granddaughter on the way, Isla, who will carry forward his spirit of warmth and kindness.
A memorial service honoring Fleet’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Wales, with Reverend Father Timothy Nunez officiating, and the Reverend Arch Deacon John Motis and the Reverend Joanie Brawley assisting. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the church, Good Shepherd News (gslw.org), or the Lake Wales Care Center (lakewalescarecenter.com/donate).