James Patrick Irving of Fullerton passed away at his home, surrounded by his loving family on March 8, 2019.
Born in The Bronx, NY in 1936, he was the youngest child of James and Mary (McKenna) Irving. Orphaned at the age of 13, his sister Anne and her husband Phil took him in to live with them in North Arlington, NJ, where he graduated from Queen of Peace High School in 1953.
He earned an academic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He continued his Engineering studies, attaining his Masters at Northwestern University in 1959 and his Doctorate at Yale University in 1966.
He met his beloved wife, Antoinette “Toni” Carava in 1959 at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, where they both worked. They were married in 1963 and raised 3 sons together. He “paid it forward”, taking in Toni’s younger sister Rosanne at the age of 4 when her father passed away, raising her like his own.
He went on to have a distinguished career in the Petroleum Industry with Standard Oil, which later became Chevron Oil. His career began in the laboratory, but his hard work, intelligence and strong ethical fortitude enabled him to advance into management and executive positions with Chevron, including President of Chevron Oil Field Research Co., General Manager of Production, and Vice President of Human Resources for Chevron USA, before retiring in 1996. He also served on the Orange County Airport Commission.
Jim’s top priorities, however, were always his faith and his family. He was an actively involved parishioner at St. Juliana Falconieri in Fullerton, serving as Lector and Parish Council Member. He selflessly, and always, put his family’s priorities ahead of his own. He set an example for all to follow in living a life of faith, hope, and charity.
Jim is preceded in death by his father James Irving in 1948; mother Mary in 1949; sister Anne Clark in 1989, sister Margaret Lahey in 1995, and stillborn son James in 1975 - all of whom will no doubt greet him warmly in Heaven in a long awaited reunion.
Jim is survived by Toni, his wife of 55 years; son Mark (Amy) of Carlsbad, CA; son Paul (Tracey) of Fullerton, CA; son Daniel (Reagan) of Glen Ellyn, IL; Sister-in-Law Rosanne Chiarello of Laguna Niguel, CA; nine grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Vigil Service will be held Wednesday March 20th at 7:30pm at St. Juliana Falconieri Catholic Church in Fullerton, CA. Funeral Mass will be Thursday March 21st at 11:30am at St. Juliana Falconieri.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to FOCUS at focus.org; PO Box 17408, Denver, CO 80217 or Second Harvest Food Bank at feedoc.org; 8014 Marine Way, Irvine, CA 92618
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