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Dr. (Col USAF Ret) Jaime E. Irizarry Perez passed away on April 8, 2013 in San Antonio, TX at the age of 90. He was born in Puerto Rico. He was a loyal friend, avid tennis player, talented pianist, licensed pilot, admired professor, the number one Florida Gators fan, a successful physician and an accomplished Air Force officer. His lifetime ambition was to be a medical doctor. After earning his BS degree from Manhattan College in NY, he finished his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia in 1948. In 1952 Jaime volunteered with the USAF, training at Gunther AFB, Montgomery, AL, and moving to Laredo AFB, Texas, as a 1st Lieutenant. He completed Flight Surgeon training at Randolph AFB, School of Aviation Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, and returned to Laredo AFB as a Captain. He was discharged from active service on November 2, 1954. Jaime finished his residency in ophthalmology in June, 1959. He became a full-time assistant professor at the School of Medicine in San Juan in 1960, and later, associate professor.After being in private practice for 14 years, he joined the VA Hospital in San Juan as an attending ophthalmologist and Chief of Ophthalmology Services. In 1995 he was appointed Assistant Chief of Surgical Services until his retirement in 1996. Jaime served 10 years with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. He was promoted to Colonel in 1985, and was State Air Surgeon until his retirement in 1987. Among his numerous recognitions are: National Defense Service Medal; Hospital de La Concepción award for his "outstanding medical services to the community"; Joint Service Commendation Medal; The Humanitarian Service Medal; Longevity Award Ribbon; AF Commendation Medal; Award from the Society of AF Flight Surgeons; Presidential Award; Merit Recognition Award; first recipient of The Dr. Manuel N. Miranda Award. Jaime belonged to numerous organizations throughout his career, some of which were: Beta Kappa Chapter of the Hahnemann Medical College; Bruce McFadyen Gynecological Society; John L. Redman Pediatric Society; PR Medical Association; Rotary Club International; AMA; PR Ophthalmological Society; Aerospace Medical Association; AF Association; Pan American Association of Ophthalmologists; PR Society of Ophthalmologists; American College of Surgeons (Fellow); American Academy of Ophthalmologists (Fellow). He was active with the Boy Scouts of America as troop leader and instructor and a member of the Executive Board of the BSA, Puerto Rico Council, as Chairman of the Health and Security Committee.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 68 years, Ada Montalvo de Irizarry; his daughter Ada Irizarry-Montalvo and her husband Dr. (Col USAF Ret) Miguel A. Montalvo; his son, Dr. Jaime E. Irizarry and his wife Dr. Zulema Sorrentini; his brother Jorge; his sister Carmen Amalia; his grandchildren Miguel, Jaime, Ada, Adriana and Tatiana, and his great-granddaughter Adita, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and friends who adored him. His greatest accomplishment was the love and respect he inspired in all who met him. Rest in Peace, our dear "Pito".
A memorial service will be Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3PM at Sunset Northwest Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Click on "Tribute Giving", in memory of Jaime E. Irizarry.
Published in Express-News on Apr. 21, 2013