On April 13, 2021, Michael Anthony Chiglinsky, or “Dr. Mike” as he was lovingly known by children and families throughout the Roanoke Valley, passed away at age 65 due to complications from cancer.
Dr. Mike was born on August 7, 1955 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the youngest of four children to Anna and Joseph Chiglinsky. “They saved the best for last,” he liked to say. That healthy ego and rambunctious spirit lit his path through years of Catholic School, where he supplemented his education with pranks on the nuns, endless hours as the star point guard on the high school basketball team, and long, philosophical conversations with priests, many who would become close friends and mentors. For a time, he contemplated joining the priesthood, until the book Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl showed him that his true calling was mental health.
After attending local Lycoming College, this inveterate Yankee ventured south to pursue his graduate education and doctorate in psychology at Georgia State University. In Georgia, he met the love of his life, launched his career as an expert in children and family therapy, and started a family of his own. That career brought him to Southwest Virginia, where he would practice for more than three decades to raise and care for children all across the Roanoke Valley as both a therapist and Vice Chairman of the Salem City School Board.
Dr. Mike’s favorite quote came from his father, who said simply, “God is Love.” And love, for Dr. Mike, was an active love. It was the love he provided for the families who turned to him for guidance in their darkest hours, the love he delivered to friends and colleagues with an arm around the shoulder and a dose of sharp wit, or more commonly, another cheesy Dr. Mike joke. His strongest love he saved for his family: selflessly helping his three children Brian, Katherine, and Peter chase their dreams, and his limitless devotion for his wife of nearly 40 years, Joanne. He was a rock of strength to so many, and his life, so filled with love and laughter, showed all of us how to be strong for one another.
He is survived by his wife, Joanne; his children, Brian, Katherine, and Peter; his daughter-in-law, Crystal; his sister, Ann; and two brothers, Joseph and Vince.
A Funeral Mass will be held to honor Dr. Mike at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 23, 2021, at Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church in Roanoke, Va. For those who cannot attend in person, a livestream will be available on the YouTube page of Our Lady of Nazareth - Roanoke. A visitation will follow the Mass from 4 to 6 p.m. in the John M. Oakey & Son Chapel in Salem, Va.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to establish the Dr. Michael Chiglinsky Scholarship through the Salem Education Foundation, which will support students committed to serving their community, at https://connect.clickandpledge.com/Organization/sefandaa/campaign/DRMichaelChiglinsky. Online condolences may be expressed at www.johnmoakey.com.