William Archibald Irvin '51


As president of the Class, an honor for which I am very grateful, I am charged with the difficult task of writing letter after letter advising of the death of a classmate. The difficulty is intensified by the fact that in a Class of only 250 men, we all knew each other and, for many of us, developed a bond that became even stronger in the years after college.

In the case of Arch Irvin, the agony of this job is further amplified because Arch and I were fraternity brothers and close friends. We lived, partied, skied, and dated together.

Just as in his later life associations, Arch was liked by everyone, not only by our brothers but by most of his classmates.     

Arch was a fierce competitor both as a wrestler in college and later as a golfer at Oakmont Country Club, where, I am told, “he will be remembered forever.” His love for bowling, a sport at which he excelled, was even greater than his love of golf. Late in his life, he bowled a 265 when he couldn’t even remember when it was his turn to bowl.

Arch was seventy-eight when he died on December 9, 2007.  He lived his final two years in a senior care facility suffering with emphysema and Alzheimer’s.  These dreadful diseases were not the cause of his death; he aspirated while Lorna, his wonderful wife of thirty years, was with him and died three days later.

Along with Lorna, he left six children—the first three were Arch’s from a former marriage and the last three were Lorna’s from a prior marriage: W. Arch III, Amelia Yeager, Janet Steitz, Lisa Flannigan, Thomas Hardy, and Nicholas Hardy.

Arch attended Shadyside Academy, Amherst, and the Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Law from which he graduated in 1955.  He practiced law in Pittsburgh for fifty years and was a founding partner of his law firm, Wayman, Irvin and McAuley.  Lorna told me that she was honored to represent Arch last year when, with a handful of other lawyers, he was honored for his fifty years practicing law.

I know that all of you who knew Arch will always remember his love of life and I, for one, will never forget him.

—Gary Holman ’51