Edward Suter Irwin, M.D. – Burlington

Edward Suter Irwin, M.D., 94, passed away on Feb. 7, 2013, in the company of his family, at the Converse Home in Burlington after a long journey with Alzheimer’s disease. Edward was born in Burlington on Aug. 2, 1918, the son of Gladys Suter Irwin and Lewis Gardner Irwin. He graduated from Burlington High School in 1936 and the University of Vermont in 1940 with a Bachelor’s degree in Botany. He earned a Master’s in Botany from UVM in 1941. In the 1930s he was a member of the VT National Guard. Following graduation from UVM, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the US Army. He stayed on at UVM to teach Military Science and Tactics (ROTC) during World War II. It was at the Military Department that he met his wife, Beatrice Virginia “Ginny” Norris (from St. Albans), whom he married on May 30, 1943. He also taught high school ROTC in New Bedford, Mass., and during 1945 was stationed in Alaska on Shemya, one of the Aleutian Islands. On return from the Army, he earned a Doctor of Optometry degree from Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia. In 1950 he entered practice with his father-in-law, Francis W. Norris, M.D., of St. Albans. He entered the UVM College of Medicine, earning an M.D. Degree in 1955. While in medical school, he was the Company Commander of a US Army Reserve Military Police Company based in St. Albans. In 1958 he returned to the private practice of Ophthalmology in Burlington. He was a member of the faculty of the UVM College of Medicine, reaching the rank of Clinical Professor, and was acting Chief of the Division of Ophthalmology from 1972 to 1977. He was an Attending Surgeon at both the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont and Fanny Allen Hospital. He was active in the UVM College of Medicine Alumni Association, serving as the Association’s President from 1972 to 1974. He was a percussionist in the Burlington High School Band, the UVM Band, Burlington Concert Band, and the St. Andrews Society Bagpipes and Drums. He was an enthusiastic gardener and enjoyed traveling with his wife, Virginia. He will be remembered for his smile, his kindly manner, handshake, and the special way he had of making everyone feel welcome and loved. He is survived by Brian Hilbert Irwin, M.D., and his wife, Jeanne Hayden Irwin, and their children, Fisher James Irwin and Gwenyth Hayden Irwin of Shelburne, among others. A Celebration of His Life will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 21 Buell St., Burlington at 4 pm on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the UVM College of Medicine, Development and Alumni Relations, Courtyard at Given, South, 89 Beaumont Ave., Burlington VT 05405; or the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.

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