Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Distinguished Alumni

James Rhymer

Dr. James Rhymer - 1998

Dr. James Rhymer is a Clinton native and the grandson of Dewey County pioneers.  After graduation from Leedy High School, Rhymer attended Southwestern where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1951.  He continued his studies at Southwestern and completed his pharmacy degree in 1954.  Rhymer then attended the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in Pittsburg, Pa., graduating in 1959. 

He interned from 1959-60 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver.  For six years following graduation from medical school, Rhymer was in the Oklahoma National Guard 45th Infantry Division assigned as battalion surgeon of the 1/245th Armored Battalion and later as flight surgeon for the 45th Division. 

He established his private practice in Clinton in 1961.  Additional associations include being president of the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Examiners and serving on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality. 

He has also served as legislative chairman for the Oklahoma Academy of the Family Physicians.  Rhymer is an energetic man who is not only dedicated to his profession of medicine but also serves many hours in civic responsibilities.  He belongs to the Woodward Elks Lodge and the Clinton Masonic Lodge and is a 32nd degree Mason.  In a volunteer capacity, Rhymer was the physician for the Clinton High School football team and the SWOSU Bulldog varsity athletic teams. 

He serves every year as physician for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Elks Major Projects Cadet Lawman Academy at Burns Flat.  For years, Rhymer has provided medical expertise to the SWOSU athletic teams, athletic trainer program and the university’s SCUBA program.  He has been a guiding force for medical treatment and rehabilitation for many SWOSU students, athletes, faculty and staff. 

It is not uncommon to see Dr. Rhymer in the SWOSU training room until later hours of the night, the SWOSU pool during SCUBA, on an open water dive of on the sideline of football games at both home and away contests.  His famous tootsie rolls have broken the ice many times with SWOSU students, athletes, and spectators. 

Rhymer and his wife, Colleen, have three children- Jim Bob, Kenny, and Gwili.

Dr. James Rhymer passed away in 2002.