Michael Irish MD Obituary

Michael S. Irish MD
Michael S. Irish MD

January 14, 1964 - March 6, 2019
Born in Kansas City
Resided in West Des Moines, Iowa
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Dr. Michael Irish, 55, of Des Moines, Iowa passed away March 6, 2019. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at the Lutheran Church of Hope 925 Jordan Creek Pkwy, West Des Moines.

Mike Irish was born in Kansas City. His parents are Barbara Irish originally of Llandudno, Wales and Gary Irish (predeceased) of Emporia Kansas.

As a young man Mike was an Eagle Scout, a competitive diver and diving coach. He attended Shawnee Mission East High School. He graduated from Tulane University, and received his MD from University of Kansas School of Medicine. He completed a 6 year General Surgical Residency at the Mayo Clinic, followed by 4 years of Pediatric Surgical Training and Research at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He spent the next 15 years as an Attending Pediatric Surgeon at Blank Hospital in Des Moines, followed by 2 years as Attending Pediatric Surgeon at St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville, Indiana.

Mike was extremely devoted to his children, Sydney and Spencer, wanting nothing but happiness for them and for them to experience the most out of life. He grew up with a passion for outdoors activities, namely bird hunting and the love of a dog in your life; passions which he has passed on to both kids. He made wonderful memories with Sydney and Spencer taking them all over the country to admire its natural beauty and learn the history of the nation he loved. He was always extremely proud of both of them, their accomplishments, and their own, individual interests.

Michael was a gifted and meticulous pediatric surgeon, described by a mentor as “by far the most talented surgeon I’ve ever met, undergoing multitudes of complex surgical conditions.” He was a national innovator in use of the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical Assistant and minimally invasive surgery. He organized the first international pediatric surgical robotics conference at Blank Hospital and lectured nationally and internationally as well as publishing in his specialty area.

He was fiercely devoted to the children in his care and empathetic for their parents and caregivers. He was known for being available around the clock for families who were experiencing life’s worst fears.

He spent much of his personal time organizing fund raising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars by way of the “shoot for a cure” event. Mike also took part in several annual medical aid missions to a surgical facility in Barahona, Dominican Republic.

At home in Des Moines, Michael is survived by: His children Sydney Irish, Spencer Irish, their mother, Dawn Voigt Irish and their half sister Amanda Chvatal. In Kansas City: His sister Megan Irish, his niece Shelby Marquis and nephew Cale Marquis. In Australia: His sister Kelly Irish, his nephew Finn Cussen and his niece Molly Cussen. In England: His aunt Joyce Green, uncle Alan Green and cousin Sue Stratton. In Wales: His Uncle Carl Wright, Aunt Janet Wright, Aunt Gail Roberts, and cousins Paul Wright, Joanna Wright, Claire Owen, and Ian Hughes, Lastly he leaves his beloved Fergus, the best hunting dog in the world.

He is also survived by countless devoted friends and colleagues, families of his patients as well as the many children whose lives he saved during his career as a pediatric surgeon.

Mike’s family requests donations to either: Ducks Unlimited efforts to conserve and protect threatened waterfowl habitat throughout North America (www.ducks.org) or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (events.cff.org/iashootforacure) or Children of the Nations dedicated to raising children out of poverty so that they may make lasting change in their nations. (cotni.org)





Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Lutheran Church of Hope
925 Jordan Creek Parkway
West Des Moines, IA US 50266
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
11:00 AM


Ducks Unlimited
One Waterfowl Way
Memphis, TN 38120
Children of the Nations
11992 Clear Creed NW
Silverdale, Washington 98382
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
4550 Montgomery Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814