Michael Graham Irving
April 3, 1951 to August 17, 2019
Michael grew up in England, spending his childhood playing soccer. He and his brother Bob traveled to Greece as young adults and Michael worked and sailed there before immigrating to the U.S. on August 17th, 1973. He earned both a BS and an MS degree from the University of Maryland, and during those years became a father to Vanessa and Lindsay.
He met Sandy in 1981 while he was a still a graduate student working on his thesis. What followed was 38 years of love, respect, and friendship. Annie and Stephen were born to Michael and Sandy, and they settled along the Chesapeake Bay in Southern Maryland.
Michael and Sandy lived in Maryland, Texas, and Scotland, before spending their last 25 years together in Summerville SC. Michael loved to travel, enjoying both the journey and the destination. They were fortunate enough to travel the world together.
Michael worked for 40 years in the hospital IT field, both in the USA and in the United Kingdom. During his time in Scotland he was able to have Sandy and all four of his children together, enjoying that beautiful country as a family. After returning to the US, and a stint of work in Northern Virginia, Michael was recruited by MUSC to run the lab system. Internal promotions saw Michael work on developing numerous clinical applications, most of which are still being used today. Some, like his diabetes calculator, have been disseminated to hospitals throughout the US and have made a lasting contribution to patient care.
Michael retired in 2016 to travel extensively. He retired for a second time in April 2019 having been caught sitting up in his hospital bed, coding. He earned numerous awards and honors for his work at MUSC, including an Employee of the Year honor.
Always happy around the pitch, Michael was a lifetime fan of the Toffees, and for twenty years freely gave his time to countless young soccer players. He was a very successful coach at both the James Island and Summerville Soccer Clubs. He called this his “give back” to the country that had given him so much. Michael’s teams won numerous championship trophies, but his favorite honor was the Fair Play Award that his teams earned by always playing with class and style.
Michael found cancer in his right groin when he was 38 years old. What followed was one hell of a fight between a relentless disease and the man with no quit in him. Thirty years of determination saw him beat the “incurable” cancer. In the end, he was not able to withstand the long-term effects of the treatments that had disabled his heart and lungs. Michael took his final drive to MUSC shortly after his death, as it was his wish to donate his body to the Cellular and Biology Research Center at MUSC. His cremated remains will be returned and scattered in the English Canals that he traveled and loved.
Forty-six years to the day after he immigrated to the United States, Michael passed away peacefully in his sleep. He is survived by his best friend and loving wife Sandy, four children – Vanessa, Lindsay, Annie, Stephen – and two granddaughters – Audrey and Skye. His brother Bob lives in New Zealand and he has multiple cousins, nieces and nephews in England, Australia, Europe and New Zealand.
In lieu of flowers, Michael’s wishes were that a donation would instead be made to the Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC:
Direct your donation to:
The MUSC Foundation/Hollings Cancer Center
Outpatient BMT Clinic
In Memory of Michael Irving
8 Bee Street, MSC450, Charleston, SC 29425