Dr. Irving Victor, 97, died peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, surrounded by family following a brief illness.
Dr. Victor (Vic) was born in Savannah on May 15, 1922, the son of the late Jules and Cecelia Kassell Victor. He graduated from Savannah High School and Armstrong Junior College in 1941 where he was valedictorian and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia where he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Scholastic Society. He received his medical degree from The Medical College of Georgia where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Victor lettered in tennis. He also served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years.
He completed his internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and his residency at Ancker and Miller Hospitals in St. Paul, MN., under the supervision of the famous Dr. Frederic Foley, inventor of the Foley Catheter.
He returned to Savannah at the urging of his brother Jules. Dr. Victor built a thriving urology practice, and he served as Chief of Staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Candler Hospital and Memorial Hospital. He also served as President of the Georgia Medical Society. He was extremely proud that he was instrumental in establishing one of the nation’s first emergency medical systems in Savannah with the formation of Chatham County EMS, an initiative that saved many lives. In 1970, he volunteered to serve his country in Vietnam where he worked with other doctors in performing surgeries and was ultimately reunited with his son John who was deployed. After Dr. Victor retired from his urology practice of 41 years, he took up a second career as a physician and administrator with St. Joseph’s Hospital now St. Joseph’s /Candler where he was a master negotiator. Most recently, he added another title to his many: successful restauranteur with Vic’s on the River. Additionally, he remained active in Savannah’s civic and business communities.
During his distinguished career, Victor received many awards. A few of them include: the Humanitarian Service Award from the American Medical Association; the Humanitarian Award from the German Heritage Society for service in Vietnam; the Physician Physician’s Award from the Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association; the Distinguished Citizen’s Award from the Armstrong Alumni Association on three separate occasions; and the John B. Rabun Community Service Award from the Georgia Medical Society. He was named to the Armstrong Athletic Hall of Fame and his writings have been published in several notable medical journals.
Dr. Victor received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Armstrong State University in 2001 and on October 20, 2017, Armstrong awarded him with its second-ever Eminent Alumni distinction which recognizes extraordinary merit. He was Chairman of Armstrong State University’s Board of Trustees and president of the Armstrong Alumni Association. He was active in the United Way, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission.
Dr. Victor often said there was nothing more satisfying than knowing that you’ve helped somebody.
Dr. Victor was preceded in death by his first wife, Rita Terese (Terry) and a brother, Jules Victor Jr. He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Alice (Cissie) Ruth Victor. In addition he is survived by his devoted children: son John Victor; daughter Andrea Marshall, and her husband Bill of Pembroke Pines, Fl. and Andrea’s son Brian Blount of Davie, Fl.; son Kirk Victor and his wife Linda Lance of Washington, D.C.; daughter Jane Showalter and her husband Carl of Charlotte, NC., and their sons Victor, urology resident, in Albuquerque, NM., Kirk Ward of Washington, D.C. and Pete of Austin, TX.; son William Victor and his wife Gabrielle of Memphis, TN; and son Frederic Victor of Atlanta and his daughter Maggie and son Henry; James Threlkeld and his wife Tracy of Redondo Beach, CA and their children Emily of Kauai and Parker of Redondo Beach; and Jill Elizabeth Holland and her husband Jason of Wake Forest, NC and her children Grace of Savannah and Corbin of Wake Forest. He leaves behind three great grandchildren, Alex, Spencer and Hayden Blount, nieces, nephews, patients, good friends and six faithful cats and dogs.
A service to celebrate the life of Dr. Victor will be held at 3 pm on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at Christ Church Episcopal. The family will also receive friends on Monday, January 13 from 5-7 pm at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel, 7200 Hodgson Memorial Drive, Savannah, GA.
Memorials may be sent to Humane Society Greater Savannah 7215 Sallie Mood Drive Savannah, GA 31406 or St. Joseph’s Candler Foundations Heart & Lung Building 5356 Reynolds Street, Suite 400 Savannah, GA 31405 or gifts can be made online.
Arrangements are in care of Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel.
Please sign our online guestbook
Andrea, when I think of your dad I see his big, brown eyes peering over the morning news. "Good afternoon, girls!," as he scratched Sugar behind the ears and told Belle how he wanted his eggs. I loved those Saturdays! I just wish I'd known his depth and breadth. But not even he could know his impact of our family. Because of your dad's encouragment and support, Laird also went to MCG, chose Ob-Gyn as his specialty, and in the course of his career delivered 6,800 babies. Talk about a life that mattered! But what mattered to me was the gift of a wonderful friend. Andrea, you're in my heart and prayers! (Think he ever knew it was us smoking in the bushes?)
- Lea Griffan Duncan; Laird Griffina, MD , Beaufort , SC
A gathering was instantly better with Dr. Vic in attendance. His stories were invariably interesting, often amusing, and always paired perfectly with wine. Cheer to a life well lived.
- Courtney E. Dorsett, Douglas, GA
- Corbell family
Vic will be missed by so many. Great humanitarian, brilliant in mind, generous in heart, kind to a fault and urologist par excellence. A lovely man. Bill McRoberts, MD
- Bill McRoberts, MD, Lexington, KY
- Bob and Betsy Wilson, Georgia
Dr Victor was a true Renaissance man. He accomplished extra-human feats in his medical practice, all the time while maintaining his soulful sympathetic true feelings that allowed him to connect with his patients on a one-by-one deeply personal basis. Life Well Lived!
- Michael DeVegter, Savannah, GA
Dr. Victor was always such a kind and caring friend to us. We will miss him greatly.
- John and Elizabeth Shivas, Savannah, GA
Dr. Irving as I knew him was always thoughtful and sweet to my grandfather, Sydney Victor (Dr. Irving's uncle), my father Bob Myers and mother Lilla Victor Myers (Dr. Irving's first cousin). When my mother moved to Columbia, SC he would send a card and flowers on her birthday. He was that kind of person and I will remember him fondly. My condolences to Cissie, Johnny, Andrea, Kirk and the rest of the family.
- Bobby Myers, Raleigh, NC
Cissie, I am so sorry to learn of Dr. Victor's passing. Hugs and prayers for comfort.
- Laura Thomas Brown, Johns Creek/Jonesboro, GA
What a wonderful man! Giving thanks for him. And sending love to you as you celebrate his life.
- Lois Ann Partridge, Charlotte, NC
Fond memories of this special physician. Student at St. Joseph 1956
- Shirley Newman Rushing, Tallahassee, FL
Prayers for the family, Donna Reid Graham daughter of Ann Huguenin sister of Leonora Victor.
- Donna R Graham, Quitman, GA
Prayers for the family and friends. As retired Nurse I have worked with Dr. Victor at M.M.C. and St. Joseph Hospital. He will be dearly missed. He was and is a blessing to many people all over. His work has helped more people than he'll ever realize. Rest in peace
- Sandra Bouton, Springfield, GA
Andrea my deepest condolences to you and your family.
- Doug Mullis, Marietta, GA
Sending our thoughts and prayers your way Victor and Showalter families. We are so sorry for the loss of your father/grandfather. Dr. Vic was a special man with a heart of gold. We are so thankful to have been in his orbit for only a short while but long enough to know that he loved life and lived it to the fullest! With love and sympathy
- The Mulligan Family, Charlotte, NC
- Anthony & Sylvia Morgan, Georgia
It is with our sincere and deepest sympathy that we extend our condolences to the family of our Dear friend a true gentleman and my mentor, Dr Irving Victor.
- Anthony & Sylvia Morgan, Fairburn, GA
Mrs. Alice Victor I am so sorry for you and your family's loss. It was a pleasure working for the both of you. Dr. Victor was a such a good person, may the good Lord strengthen you all. sincerely Betty Hills
- Betty Hills, Savannah, GA
Dr. Vic, a truly humble, honest and wonderful gentleman, will be remembered as a true friend to both Joyce and me. He has done so much for his profession, community and family. It was a life well lived. We send our condolences to his family during this difficult time. We trust you will rejoice in knowing that he lived a rich and loving life. Dr. Vic we will miss you! May rest in peace ... Good Friend.
- Thomas & Joyce Jones, Savannah, GA
So very sorry to hear of the passing of this great Savannah icon--may God's Blessing and Peace wrap his family and give them comfort. I worked as a Medical Technologist at the "old" St. Joseph's Hospital Laboratory and later at Memorial Hospital's laboratory for a total of 46 years and had many interactions with Dr. Victor. Such a fine physician, he leaves a lasting legacy.
- Barry Myers, Pasadena, Texas
Dear Andrea, we are so saddened to hear of your Dad's passing. He was one of my Grandfather Nelson's and my Mom and Dad's absolute favorites, and we will all miss him tremendously. Deepest condolences to you and the family. Fondly, Nan
- Nancy Virginia Lewis, New York , NY
Dear Kirk, I was very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. No matter our age, it’s a tough loss. I’m thinking of you. I’m out of town so I will be unable to give you a hug in person.
- Cookie Tenenbaum Gale, Savannah, GA
DR. IRVING VICTOR is a legend--not only in Savannah--but everywhere. He will always be remembered as a "one of a kind" gentleman, doctor, restaurant owner, and friend. He served on many committees-- especially at Armstrong State University. VIC will definitely be missed. My condolences go out to the family. Sincerely, Faye Kirschner
- Faye Kirschner, Savannah, GA
Much love to all will always remember Vic, what a gem!!
- Marian and Dee Castillo, Evans, GA
Dr. Victor was a wonderful person. A friend to so many. An inspirational life example for everyone. His positive, warm, and friendly personality and spirit will be so missed by all who were privileged to know him.
- Bruce Barragan, Savannah, GA
My condolences to the family. Dr. Vic was an angel to so very many and we all owe him our gratitude for his service. May he rest peacefully in the arms of the Lord.
- Susan Oetgen, Savannah, GA
I'm so sad to hear the passing of a legend..dr Victor was a sweet and caring man..he treated everyone with such compassion..you we be truly missed dr Victor..
- Danielle Muthersbaugh, Savannah, GA
Dr. Victor was a titan for Prehospital Emergency Medical Services in Savannah and Chatham County. He singlehandedly created the EMS system from whole cloth and was the driving force in its creation and growth. There are countless people who today owe their lives to his vision, dedication and unwavering commitment to the citizens of Chatham County. His like has never been nor will it ever be seen again. We were and are truly blessed by God for having crossed his path. Rest easy Dr. Victor- Your work here is done, and you leave behind a garden of great beauty.
- Zach and Carol Shuman, Savannah, GA
Deepest sympathy to the Victor family.I worked with Dr.Victor in the operating room at St.Joseph's for many years and remained friends ever since.He will be missed by many.Prayers for his family at this sad time. Carolyn Emerick
- Carolyn Emerick, Savannah, GA
- Therese K Sheehan RN, Savannah, GA
A wonderful physician, a more wonderful man, who treated all, as royalty! We will always miss his presence. Prayers to all!
- Bill and Janet Darden, Savannah, GA
- Felicia Wentway, Savannah, GA
- Donald Howard, Georgia
Dr. Victor was a wonderful person to work for. My deepest most heartfelt sympathy to all of his loved ones.
- Felicia Wentway, Savannah, GA
I alway loved Dr.Victpr. My condolences to the family.
- Gracie Wilkins, Savannah, GA
Godspeed Vic. Rest in peace
- the Hearn family, Savannah, GA
I AM SORRY FOR YOUR LOST, BEING A FORMER EMPLOYEE AT VIC'S ON THE RIVER, IT WAS A PLEASURE TO WORK FOR ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL RESTAURANTS IN DOWN TOWN SAVANNAH... THANK YOU?
- Michael Owens, Sr., Brunswick, GA
Dr. Victor was truly a hero. He blessed our community in so many ways: through his work as a physician, his creation of the EMS system, his decades and decades of service to his alma mater from its very earliest days. I am truly honored to have known him. It's rare to meet a living legend, but he truly was one! RIP Dr. Victor. Thank you for a life of vision and service.
- Cheryl Ciucevich, Savannah, GA
Dr. Victor was loved by my Aunt, Rose Butler Haynes, she was his housekeeper for many years until her passing in the 80’s.
- Sheila Spellman, Savannah, GA
Dr.Victor was my doctor and my friend. I have known him since 1953. Words can not express what he meant to me and my family. Had it not been for him and the grace of God I would not be here today. My heart is broken as I know all in his family is also. But I know he is now in the living arms of God.
- Kenneth Daniel, Savannah, GA
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- 5:00pm to 7:00pm on Mon, January 13, 2020
- Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
7200 Hodgson Memorial Drive (map)
Savannah GA 31406
- Funeral Service
- 3:00pm on Tue, January 14, 2020
- Christ Church Episcopal on Johnson Square
28 Bull Street (map)
Savannah GA 31401
- A private burial will be held