Our father, the Legend, Philip James Wirdzek Jr., 69, passed away on Saturday, October 9, 2021, at his home in Luray surrounded by family.
He was born on June 1, 1952, and was a son of the late Philip James Wirdzek Sr. and Naomi Bell Wirdzek.
Philip was founder and executive director of the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL). His education included a Master of Microbiology from Catholic University. He was a member of the Rotary Club, Rileyville Ruritans, The Knights of Columbus, Happy Hoofers, Page County Railroad Club and Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.
On October 6, 1978, he married Ann Louise Wirdzek, who survives.
Surviving in addition to his wife, Ann, are two sons, Adam Lewis Wirdzek and Daniel Zachary Wirdzek; and a sister, Naomi C. Desiderio.
To say that this is devastating for our family is a massive understatement.
Dad was such an incredible and inspiring man. He was a true servant leader, and made everyone feel like they were special in such a powerful and genuine way. He had constant love and appreciation for everything and everyone in this blessed life. He was passionate about connecting people and loved deeply. His legacy will be lived on through our family.
Danny and I have learned so much from his example and guidance and we are eternally grateful to know him and call him our Dad and best friend. Dad was such a wonderful and caring husband to my Mom, and their love for each other and faith in God, inspired so many, which was so beautiful and powerful to experience growing up. It has fundamentally shaped my brother and I into men who have the capacity to love deeply, unconditionally and broadly. His honest work and earnest efforts and accomplishments in establishing the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories has touched the lives of so many people and we are extremely proud and grateful to know he has made a profound impact in the world-wide laboratory community.
During his relatively short time in Luray, Dad immersed himself in the Luray community. He set out to make a difference by joining local organizations and was immediately swept up by a welcoming and loving family that quickly became part of our own. With the incredible people here, we watched him thrive in his golden years and are filled with so much gratitude towards all of those who made him feel so loved and at home here in Luray. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us. We are so grateful to know you and call you family.
The Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021, with a viewing at Bradley Funeral Home at 3 p.m., and a reception to follow Mass at our home in Luray, Virginia. All are welcome. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, we absolutely love hearing about your memories of him.
Burial will be held in the spring of 2022 at Saints Simon and Jude Cemetery, 155 North Brady Street, Blairsville, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Choices, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to providing hope for improvement in the lives of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness
~ We love you Dad and we'll miss you so much.
Love, Adam, Danny, and with our wonderful mother, Annie Wirdzek