Oscar Hoiland

Obituary of Oscar Edward Hoiland

Longtime Chico resident Oscar Edward Hoiland passed away peacefully at his home on September 7th, 2023 at 92 years old. He was the son of Oscar and Josie Hoiland, born in Richmond, CA on May 15, 1931. Edward “Ed” grew up and went to elementary and high school in Richmond, CA. As a teenager, he worked with his father who was a contractor. His high school counselor became aware of his considerable artistic talents, and recommended he look into a career in architecture. After graduation from high school Ed enrolled at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the School of Architecture. Midway through his studies, Ed joined the U.S. Air Force and was deployed to Okinawa, Japan where he worked to install strategic landing sites for U.S. Aircraft. After three years, Ed returned to Cal Poly to complete his degree in Architecture. During this time, he met Steve Gilmore, who introduced him to his sister Merilyn Patricia “Pat” Gilmore.

Following graduation from Cal Poly, Ed and Pat moved to Point Richmond near the San Francisco Bay and began his architectural career at the firm Calister, Payne and Bishop in Tiburon. Ed and Pat were married in 1964 and soon had two sons, Eric in (1964) and Sten (1966). Ed’s architectural career in the Bay Area was one of the great joys of his life and included a yearlong assignment in Connecticut where Ed supervised the building of a major senior housing development. In 1977 Ed moved his family to Great Falls, Montana to pursue other architectural interests and try a new family adventure. Missing family and friends in California, Ed moved his family back to Chico, CA in 1978.

While in Chico, Ed and Pat enjoyed bicycling, hiking, theater, opera and the symphony at Chico State and in San Francisco. Both Ed and Pat were enthusiastic world travelers, originally lured by Ricard Halliburton’s travel odyssey, “Royal Road to Romance.” He explored Europe, the Philippines, Antarctica and other exotic places with Pat and other friends. With his sons and others, he backpacked multiple times through the Sierra Nevada mountains. After Pat passed away in 2009, Ed continued living an adventurous and active life. In 2011, while on an adventure in Burma, he met Caroline Langen, who became his travel and life partner for the next 12 years. Together, they continued adventures, traveling to Africa, Turkey, Spain and San Francisco to theater and operas. In the last few years, Ed enjoyed socializing with family and friends, participation in OLLI activities, visiting museums and reading.

In his later years, Ed found reading and sketching to be a genuine pleasure. He belonged to a book club and spent time sketching his surroundings, including interesting pages in books, views in the distance, coffee houses in Chico, historic sites in Northern California, and Caroline’s garden. Ed loved meeting new people and getting to know them and their interests and passions. When meeting a new friend, the latter would ponder why he didn’t know much about Ed? It was because Ed was so curious that he spent his energy actively listening to the “other. Ed also loved his peaceful surroundings including, planting his garden, growing tomatoes and flowers, and making elaborate table arrangements.

Ed was a very unique and special person. His son, Sten, so eloquently remembers his father as: “one of the kindest, most compassionate, and most interesting people I have ever known. His handsome, clean-cut appearance overlaid a passionate inner life. He loved the colorful and quirky work of artists like Hundertwasser and the poetry of Charles Bukowski. He loved traveling, art, architecture, opera, theater, classical music, bicycling, backpacking, and gardening. He was both a true gentleman and loved to drink wine and enjoyed using colorful language in the right company. I have never met anyone remotely like him. I miss him already.”

Ed is survived by his family, wife Caroline Langan, sons Sten and Eric Hoiland, daughter-in-law Katie Hoiland, Anina Berman, grandchildren Kea Rutherford, Addie and Callan Hoiland, sister and brother-in law Joyce and Dave Abbott and brother-in-law Steve Gilmore, and many great and respected friends.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, October 8th from 10-12 at the Lakeside Pavillion, 2565 California Park Drive, Chico, CA. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions in his memory may be made to the Museum of Northern California (MONCA), 900 Esplanade, Chico, CA.

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Brusie Funeral Home
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