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1971 - 2014

Istvan Pirko, M.D. (NIMM ’03)

Dr. Istvan Pirko died following his courageous battle with cancer on November 30, 2014 at Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN at the age of 43.

Dr. Pirko is survived by his wife, Dora Eva Kelemen, children Melissa Timea, Rebecca Noemi, Adam Balazs, and Natalie Hannah; mother Jozsefne Pirko; sister Katalin Pirko; uncle Arpad Szabo; aunt Arpadne Szabo; father-in-law Sandor Kelemen; mother-in-law Sandorne Kelemen; brother-in-law Peter Kelemen; and niece, Kitti Kelemen. He is preceded in death by his father, Jozsef Pirko (2006).

Dr. Pirko was born June 11, 1971 in Miskolc, Hungary. He completed medical school training at the University Medical School of Debrecen, followed by  residency in Neurology at the Medical College of Ohio, Toledo and fellowships in Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and Experimental Neuroimaging at the University of Cincinnati. He joined the Department of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati in 2004 where he was the Director of the MS Center, and returned to the Mayo Clinic in 2009, to join the staff as Consultant and Associate Professor of Neurology. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, member of the American Neurological Association, Hungarian Medical Association of America, and American Society of Neuroimaging.

He married the love of his life, Dora Eva Kelemen, on January 16th, 1997 in Budapest, Hungary, and was blessed with four children, whom he adored. In his spare time he enjoyed cooking for his children and wife; traveling with his family; and serving as expert council to his children and friends on the latest technologies, from cars to computers to mobile devices.

Dr. Pirko was a loving and devoted husband and father, superb and compassionate clinician, trusted and humble colleague, brilliant and innovative researcher, outstanding educator and mentor, cherished and loyal friend.  He had a charismatic, magnetic personality and faced adversity with unparalled courage and optimism.

The funeral service will be held December 13th at St. John, The Evangelist Catholic Church, 11 Fourth Avenue, Rochester, MN. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:30 am, with the funeral to follow at 10:30 am. A memorial fund has been established for the family, in honor of Dr. Pirko, at the following website:

Obituary courtesy of Macken Funeral Home.

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