Special Olympics Michigan Opening Eyes - In Memory of Dr. Philip Irion

Thursday, April 06, 2017


Philip E. Irion of Albion, 

Passed away at Sparrow Hospital on March 30, 2017 at the age of 80. Philip opened his private optometry practice in Lansing in 1962. He was a member of the Michigan Optometric Association and was Optometrist of the year in 2003-2004. His community service was extensive.  He served as President of numerous organizations including Michigan Optometric Association, Michigan Board of Optometry, MSU Downtown Coaches Club, MSU Rebounders Club, South Lansing Lions Club and MI Water Ski Association.

Philip was also the Past Project Director of the Opening Eyes Vision Screening at the Michigan Special Olympics Summer Games. He received an award for his extraordinary service and dedication to the athletes of MI Special Olympics at the opening ceremonies in 2008 and was honored for his inspiration in 2013. Phil was Past Chairman of the American Optometic Association, Sports Vision and in 1996 he was named Sports Vision Optometrist of the Year. He was Past Chairman of the Visual Performance and Safety Committee for the U.S. Olympic Committee and served as an Optometric Consultant for the1984 Olympic Hockey Team. He was a member of the Vision Screening Team for the 1996 Olympics and was an Optometric Consultant for MSU Athletic Medicine and Lansing School District Athletic Dept. Dr. Irion was a former Adjunct Professor at the Illinois College of Optometry and helped design a Sports Vision program at I.C.O. He gave presentations on sports visions in Hong Kong, Australia, Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, Tokyo and Japan. Philip trained eye care professional in Damascus and Syria on how to conduct an Opening Eyes Vision Screening in the fall of 2005 at the invitation of the First Lady of Syria.

Video Link: Dr. Philip Irion receiving Special Olympics Michigan Joe Falls Inspiration Award

Philip is survived by his wife, Sandra Irion; son, Brett Irion; daughters, Elizabeth Evensen, Brandi (Christopher) Speer; grandsons, Benjamin Evensen, Nathan Evensen; granddaughters, Reece Speer, Rylee Speer; nieces, nephews, cousins and many good friends. 

A celebration of Phil’s life will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 1 pm to 4 pmat the Duck Lake Country Club, 2827 Country Club Way, Albion, MI 49224.

Donations in Phil’s name can be made to the "Special Olympics Michigan", to benefit the Opening Eyes program:

Special Olympics Michigan, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859