In Remembrance of
Irving “Irv” O’Leary
Irving O’Leary, age 50, died Tuesday, March 12, 2002, after
a courageous battle against brain cancer. Irving was a long time
employee of Pharmacia in Kalamazoo and member of the Kalamazoo Section
of the American Chemical Society. Irving was active in public outreach
for the Kalamazoo Section. In particular, he loved doing Chemistry
for students in the Mattawan school district.
Born April 19, 1951, in Benton Harbor, Irving grew up on a
family centennial fruit farm in Coloma. He went on to distinguish
himself at Coloma High School, winning the Green and Gold Award
for good citizenship and attaining the honor of Eagle Scout. He
was president of the senior class and played football, basketball
He attained a bachelor’s degree at Western Michigan University
and a master’s degree at the University of Detroit with a scholarship
from the American Cancer Society. He performed cancer research
with the esteemed Dr. Jerome P. Horowitz at the Michigan Cancer
Foundation, was an analytical chemist for Revlon Pharmaceuticals
in Tuckahoe, N.Y., and made his final career move to Upjohn (now
Pharmacia) in Kalamazoo in 1982.
He worked at Pharmacia even after his cancer was diagnosed
and up until seven months before his death. Throughout his illness,
he contributed samples and knowledge to cancer research being done
throughout the country.
Irving was a member of the Lions Club and St. John Bosco Parish.
He loved to fish, farm, work on tractors, coach soccer and especially
spend time with his family, who will miss him greatly.
Loving father, husband and brother, he is survived by his wife,
Kelly; children, Matthew and Caitlin, of Mattawan; brother Richard,
of Coloma (special friend Michalene Reeves); and sisters Pat Holwerda
(Jerry) of Jackson, and Becky O’Leary Meier (Jim Meier) of Benton
Harbor; and many nieces and nephews who will miss their Uncle Irv.
His parents, Bill and Nan O’Leary, died before him.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: The West Michigan
Cancer Center, 200 N. Park Street, Kalamazoo MI 49007, or to the
Mattawan Lions Club, PO Box 62, Mattawan MI 49071 in his memory.