Ian Michael Orme, age 65, left us Tuesday, June 19, 2018 while at his summer home in Onchiota, New York. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. Born on August 9, 1952 Ian was adopted by a working class couple in England. Ian's father was a bricklayer, and his mother worked at a grocery store. Ian met Eileen Aquavella during his postdoctoral fellowship at the Trudeau Institute and they were married August 28, 1982. Ian is survived by his wife and his two sons, Joseph Allen Michael Orme and Robert James Steven Orme, ages 33 and 32.
After completing primary school in England, Ian went on to Paddington College in London, and then completed his Bachelors and PhD at the University of London. In 1981, he began his post-doctoral training at Trudeau Institute in New York. In 1986 Ian joined Colorado State University where he remained for his entire career. Dr. Orme became one of the world's experts in tuberculosis and immunology. He became professor in 1995, and in 2009 was bestowed the honor of University Distinguished Professor. Some of his most notable accomplishments include receiving the Roussell Prize in 1994, and the Charles C. Shepard science award, given by the CDC 1999, in 2002 Dr. Orme was elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and in 2014 he was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Orme has over 300 publications to his name, over 30 scientific chapters, and proposed nearly 300 grants during his career, raising in excess of 100 million dollars in research funding, and shaping the scientific understanding of tuberculosis in myriad ways.
In his early life Ian had ambitions to be a professional soccer player. Even though that didn't pan out, he still had a great passion for sports, especially soccer and rugby. For his work to successfully organize and run the Can-Am rugby tournament - which generated 2.5 million annually for the local community - Ian was awarded honorary membership to the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce. He was president of the Mountaineer's Rugby and Football club from 1982 to 1986. He was the founder, manager and coach of the County Cork Pub Soccer Club, a local organization.
Ian is described and remembered by his colleagues and friends as ornery, generous, and a visionary. Ian was passionate and innovative throughout his life. A pioneer who showed no fear with regard to bureaucracy or precedent. "Ian was one of the most amazing people I've had the pleasure of working with", "A mentor to many who went on to establish strong careers in both research and teaching", "Ian pioneered the mouse and guinea pig model for TB", "Ian constantly challenged people with his sometimes abrasive style, but had an incredible heart" are just a few of the many comments received from friends and colleagues in the past few hours. He was a fun-loving guy, who was known for his many lavish and legendary parties at the "Orme Towers." Many evenings were spent around the patio, beer in hand, regaling a crowd with his many tales of travel and scientific conquest.
Ian will be deeply missed, but leaves behind a legacy that will carry on through his friends and colleagues who trained under him, stood beside him, and have gone on to have their own amazing careers. He would expect nothing less from us than to raise a glass and tell a story about a man we knew who was larger than life.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A celebration of life will take place on August 18, 2018 at his camp in Onchiota.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Please make donations payable to “CSU Foundation” and note “CVMBS Memorial Fund- Dr. Ian Orme” in the memo line or you can donate online at https://advancing.colostate.edu/CVMBSMEMORIALFUND.
Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.