OBITUARY

Irving Amilcar Lugo~Santiago

May 19, 1955June 12, 2021

Irving A. Lugo-Santiago MD

Our beloved husband, father, and abuelo, Irving A Lugo-Santiago transitioned peacefully into the arms of his heavenly Father on Saturday, June 12th. Irving believed that God loved him radically and he loved Him back. As a devout of Our Lady of Perpetual Help since the age of six, he assisted to weekly novenas with his grandmother Sofia. Irving was born on May 19th, 1955 in the historic and picturesque city of San German, Puerto Rico. He was the son of the late Olga Esther Santiago Torres and Inocencio Lugo Cordero. Irving was a graduate of the Colegio San Jose in San German and went to receive his pre-med degree from the Recinto Universitario de Mayaguez, University of Puerto Rico, where he was in the TriBeta Honor Society, as well as the Dean’s List. In 1980, he obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from the School of Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico. He completed his residency in the VA Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1984, specializing in Psychiatry. Among his many accomplishments, he was a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Certified in Addiction Psychiatry, and Board Certified in Adolescent Psychiatry. He worked as a Staff Psychiatrist at the Mayaguez Community Mental Health Center and at the Veteran’s Administration Outpatient Clinic in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Irving met Lizette at the VA Hospital in San Juan while he was on his third year of medical school and Lizette was doing a dietetic internship. They got married on May 23rd, 1981. They have two children, Rocío del Carmen and Evan Miguel. In 1987, the family moved from Puerto Rico, initially to High Point, and later to Greensboro, North Carolina.

Irving was a Staff Psychiatrist and the Chief of Physician Services at the High Point Mental Health Center. He was also a Staff Psychiatrist and the Medical Director at the Guilford County Mental Health Center, a Staff Psychiatrist at the Moses Cone Behavioral Health Center, the Medical Director of the Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program, the University Psychiatrist at North Carolina A&T State University and at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Following his desire for sharing his knowledge in the field of psychiatry, he accepted the position as a Clinical Professor at the Department of Psychology at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he advised and mentored many of the doctoral students. As part of his career as a psychiatrist he was the Medical Director of Greenpoint Chemical Dependency Center in High Point, the Medical Director of LINKS Substance Abuse Adolescent Services in Greensboro, and the Assistant Medical Director of the Drug Action Council in High Point, NC. For several years, he also held a private practice in Greensboro.

On September 15th, 2017, the staff at Moses Cone Behavioral Health dedicated their courtyard in his honor, naming it The Lugo’s Landing.

Irving would not start the day without his coffee and morning prayers. They were his fuel for handling the daily challenges. He had a great passion for his career, earning the respect of colleagues and patients alike. For Irving, going to work every day as a psychiatrist was his calling. He referred to his patients as his people. There was a special place in his heart for all that saw him, but especially those who suffered from substance abuse and those who were homeless.

Irving was a great friend to many. He was one of a kind. He impacted the lives of many in such a positive way that he will always be remembered for his kindness and true compassion. Anyone who knew Irving was aware of his love for Latin music and dancing. He and his wife Lizette will be remembered for always dancing the night away at every party, fundraiser and gala. They would dance anything from shag, to salsa and merengue until the band played their last piece.

Irving fought his illness like a warrior with peace and pride. He persevered from his diagnosis in 2012 and saw his grandson William Logan grow and met his sweet granddaughter, Lucía Belén. William and Lucía will know about their Abu’s legacy when they are old enough to understand. We have such tremendous admiration and respect for how he had battled the disease. Irving was loved dearly by family and friends and will be greatly missed.

In addition to his parents, Irving was preceded in death by his grandparents, Sofia Torres, Domingo Santiago, Ramon Lugo and Luisa Cordero. Irving is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 40 years, Dr. Lizette Sanchez-Lugo, by his son, Evan Miguel Lugo, his daughter Rocío del Carmen Lugo-Bonsall, his son in law Ben Bonsall, his grandchildren William Logan Bonsall and Lucía Belén Bonsall, his sister Dr. Ivelisse Lugo (Dr. Cesar Costa), his brother Edwin Lugo, his mother-in-law, Luz Rosario, sisters-in-law Marie Sanchez (Luis Gervitz), Lilliam Sanchez, Ricardo Martinez, brother-in-law Jose Sanchez, and by his beloved nieces and nephews, Mrs. Nadia Costa-Lugo, Dr. Karla Costa-Lugo, Dr. Sofia Costa-Lugo, Mr. Joel Lugo, Dr. Edrick Lugo, Mr. Anthony Lugo, Ms. Camila Martinez, Ms. Claudia Martinez, Mr. Ricardo Martinez and Ms. Mariette Gervitz.

To Ivelisse and Cesar, thank you for your frequent visits to Greensboro, and for spoiling Irving with his favorite Puerto Rican “antojitos”.

To Eric and Karen Kaplan, thank you for your friendship and constant support. For wanting to share family adventures, like learning to dance to Latin music. To Eric, for his countless visits with Irving walking, reading to him and providing good conversation. You were a great companion and the truest of friends.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the community of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, and to the Knights of Columbus, of which Irving was an active member. Our appreciation to the medical community at the Cancer Center, especially, Dr. Mohamed, Dr.Vaslow, and Dr. Manning, nurse Dianne Bell and to all the staff at the Cancer Center at Cone Health for their care during his treatment.

The family wishes to acknowledge the team at Authora Care, especially Nurse Susan Collins, Chaplain Hillary Irusta, Social Worker Molly Lyle and CNAs Shenne and Pam, for their role and support during this difficult time.

To all our friends, family, coworkers, and colleagues that have been by our side throughout the years. Your support, cards, texts, phone calls, rosary groups, prayer groups and meals have been blessings. Thank you.

A Memorial service followed by visitation will be held on June 27, 2021 at 3:00 pm at Hanes-Lineberry North Elm Chapel, 515 North Elm Street, Greensboro, North Carolina. Funeral Mass will be held on June 28, 2021 at 11:00 am at St. Paul The Apostle Catholic Church, 2715 Horse Pen Creek, Greensboro, North Carolina. The burial of Irving’s remains will occur in San German, Puerto Rico.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in the name of Irving Lugo to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church’s food pantry, to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Greensboro, to The Barnabas Network in Greensboro, to The Mental Health Association of Greensboro, to the Sanctuary House, to Room at the Inn, or to the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be offered at www.haneslineberryfhnorthelm.com.

Services

  • Memorial service followed by visitation

    Sunday, June 27, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

  • Funeral Mass

    Monday, June 28, 2021

Memories

Irving Amilcar Lugo~Santiago

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Archana Kumar

June 27, 2021

Dr Lugo was thoughtful, compassionate , caring and generous. His devotion to patients ,staff and family was admirable. Whenever I needed help , I knew I could always count on him. His smiling face and love of coffee will always be remembered by his Behavioral Health family at BHH

Please accept my deepest condolences.

John Lindsay

June 24, 2021

I am glad my path in life crossed with Irving's. We both worked in different areas of healthcare. Our families met each other by meeting through activities at our church. My son and his daughter were in the same grade and class at IHM catholic school in High Point. We were neighbors living several doors down on the same street. We had dinner at each other's homes. We even vacationed together once and toured the whole island of Puerto Rico which was fantastic! Irving was a good man, doctor, and friend. He is someone I will always remember. He was fun to be around whether it be a party or just a personal conversation. He will be missed by all that knew him. Rest in peace my friend. I look forward to seeing again someday.....

Neida Lugo Murphy

June 23, 2021

"And HE will Raise You Up on Eagles Wings" Psalm 91:4"

To my Brothers, Sister and Families:

May you have memories for comfort,
friends and family for support and
faith to ease your sadness.
Your sister,
Neida Lugo Murphy & Family

Kelly Graves

June 19, 2021

For almost 20 years I learned from you - not only how to be a great doctor but also how to have a great bedside manner. You were always kind and always the smartest in the room. Rest easy Dr. Lugo. Thank you for the many lives you touched !

Gayle Hoskins

June 19, 2021

Enjoyed many family times together! Your kindness will always be remembered. Much love to lizette,Rocio, Evan and all the extended family and friends who will dearly miss your earthly presence.💗

Milagros Sanchez

June 17, 2021

Que descanse en paz un gran ser humano, esposo, hijo, padre, amigo, tío, cuñado, doctor y muchas otras cosas y todas buenas. Te vamos a extrañar y tu ausencia deja un gran vacío en nuestras vidas, fuiste un guerrero y ejemplo de lucha, resistencia, persistencia y de el amor de Dios, pues en tu forma de vivir se podía ver lo que un hijo de Dios debe ser. Gracias por haber sido parte de nuestras vidas, gracias por amar tanto a Lizette, gracias por Roció y Evan, gracias por que exististeis y que tristeza el que te fueras y ya no te tendremos físicamente, más estarás en cada estrella, en cada flor, en cada sonrisa de tus nietos y en cada cosa hermosa, pues desde el cielo cuidarás a cada uno, mientras gozas de la presencia De Dios.

Catherine Tysinger

June 17, 2021

Worked with Dr Lugo @ Cone Behavioral Health. It is with great sadness that I learned of our dear friend,s passing . He was an amazing Doctor & loved by all ; My sincerest sympathy to his wife & all the extended families .Wonderful memories linger on!

Catherine Tysinger RN


Mahin Taremian

June 16, 2021

We first met Irving and Lizette through their son, Evan, who was in the same piano class as our children. We immediately felt a kinship as we witnessed their immense love for their children. Soon, Lizette and Irving became friends of ours who would join our parties. They danced a memorable tango at our daughter's wedding that everyone spoke about. Their connection as a couple transformed the dance floor! Irving was always a gentle, thoughtful person who loved life. We will miss him dearly and send our deepest condolences and love for Lizette, Rocio, Evan and the extended family.

Lilliam Sánchez

June 16, 2021

Descansa en paz Irving. Siempre recordaré ese libro que fuiste a buscar a casa y que mi hermana Lizette te entregaría. Entonces no sospechaba que ese libro contenía la más bella historia de amor de quienes supieron hacer del matrimonio una vocación.
Hoy quiero celebrar tu vida y agradecer lo fructífera que fue tanto en lo profesional como el lo personal. Agradezco esos hijos hermosos que el universo les concedió, mis queridos sobrinos,Rocio y Evan, así como esos nietos que son luces que alumbran este mundo, William Logan y Lucía Belén.
Pido mucha paz y fortaleza para todos, y agradezco a Ivelisse, tu querida hermana y Cesar su esposo, que hayan acompañado a Lizette durante todo este proceso. Gracias!
Lizette, vive con la certeza de que lo que está vivo en nuestro corazón, permanece con nosotros para siempre.

Tracy Carpenter

June 16, 2021

Dr. Lugo was a truly loving and compassionate man, always smiling, always kind to his coworkers and full of agape love for all. He became the doctor who helped my son so much, who worked on the unit at BHC with our team, and who lived his faith so completely that it shone like a light from him. He embodied for me the saying, “pray without ceasing. If necessary, use words”. Thank you Dr. Lugo, for all you gave to us!