In Memoriam: Michael Sturges

August 13, 2012 — Michael Eliot Sturges, a University of Virginia employee from 1996 to 2011, died Aug. 8 in Barboursville. He worked the last five years as technology planning coordinator for Information Technology Services.

Sean McCord, an audio-visual systems engineer at the U.Va. Library, worked with Sturges for most of the past 15 years and wrote about his friend on his blog.

"I had the fortune of working side-by-side with Michael Sturges at all of the U.Va. departments that benefitted from his presence. We worked together at Cavalier Computers, Health System Computing and ITS," he wrote.

"Michael could be relied on to not only do his job well, but also with a smile and personal initiative that elevated everyone around him. In his more than 15 years at U.Va., Michael has left a trail of admiring colleagues who are devastated at his loss," McCord said.

Sturges' supervisor, Keith Donnelly, director of Departmental Computing Support, said Sturges was a delight to work with. "We miss his presence deeply. Every day, he brought energy, enthusiasm and a keen sense of humor to our team and to the many others he worked with at U.Va. He was happy to take on any challenge, assist any teammate or listen to any concern. He was a true professional, a valued colleague and trusted friend," he said.

Born Jan. 22, 1958, in Los Angeles, Sturges earned a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1981. His professional career included working as an assistant director, a stockbroker and a writer. He was the son of John Sturges, who directed such Hollywood classic films as "Gunfight at the OK Corral," "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape."

McCord has been a volunteer with the Virginia Film Festival for many years, and in 2008, he suggested a screening for high school students of "Bad Day at Black Rock," one of John Sturges' most praised films, followed by a conversation with Michael Sturges. "He enthralled the students, including my oldest daughter, with tales of his father and what it was like to grow up in Hollywood," McCord said.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Church of Our Saviour on Rio Road.

Daily Progress obituary