Dr. Thomas H. Irving died on November 26, 2011 at Shawnee Manor, Lima after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
He was born October 19, 1931 in Saxonburg, PA to the late Herbert W. and Helen McClain Irving. He was married to Virginia Schar Irving for 32 years, who preceded him in death. In 1989 he married Sharon Schenz Hichens who survives in Cridersville.
Tom grew up in Saxonburg, PA and graduated from Butler High School in 1948. He attended the Pennsylvania State University and graduated with the class of 1953. Tom served with the U.S. Navy and was proud to be a Naval Aviator. After leaving the Navy in 1956 he attended Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, PA, graduating in 1961. He completed his residency in Anesthesiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Tom spent most of his professional career at Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He served as the first Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and built a department with an international reputation for excellence. He had an ability to recognize and recruit outstanding residents and anesthesiologists and was always pleased when they went on to practice in or chair prestigious departments of their own. After retiring from academic medicine he entered private practice in Statesville, NC and then in Pittsburgh, PA. He retired in 1993 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and moved to State College, PA with his wife, Sharon. They moved to Cridersville in 2006.
Tom was a devoted fan of Penn State athletics and throughout his life he attended as many football games, wrestling matches, and baseball games as possible. Living in State College allowed him to attend many events and meet many other devoted fans who became close friends. He was also an avid history buff with special interest in the Civil War and WW II and maintained a large library of history and biographies. Tom loved the outdoors and was an avid hiker, spending many days in the North Carolina Mountains as well as successfully climbing MT. Rainier and rafting and Colorado River. He loved to travel, especially in the American Southwest, and would stop to read any historical marker or enjoy a scenic overlook.
Survivors include two daughters, Constance “Chana” (Zev) Siegel of Ma’aleh Adumim, Israel and Jennifer Irving of Pittsburgh, PA; a son, Andrew (Karen Prohonic) Irving of Gibsonville, NC; a brother, Richard (Madeileine) Irving of Edgewater, MD, niece Jody (Richard) Clowney of Pittsburgh, PA; nephew, Tom (Cindy) Ritchey of Huntingdon, PA and several other nieces and nephews. Tom also left seven grandchildren: Noach Shahaf, Batya Siegel Sella, Ayelet, Shabtai and Haviva Siegel, Andrea Irving and Nathan Bruce; and one great grandson – Gidon Sella.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Robert and a sister Emily Mosberger.
A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Department of Anesthesiology Fund for Resident Education, Office of Development & Alumni Affairs, WFUBMC, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157; or to the Thomas H. Irving Wrestling Scholarship, The Pennsylvania State University, 101T Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, PA 16802.