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Merilyn Patricia "Pat" Gilmore Hoiland, born on St. Patrick's Day in 1936, passed away November 30, 2009 at her home in Chico, California.

Pat is a descendant from an early California ranch family in northern California. Her grandparents had ranches in Mendocino and Tehama counties where cattle and sheep were raised. Pat remembers visits to these ranch lands with cousins, aunts and uncles.

Pat's dad had dreams of flying, joining the Army Air Corps in World War I and World War II, where the family was stationed at several locations in the western United States.

After the war the family moved to Chico where Pat and her brother attended Chico schools starting with Citrus school. Pat went on to the University of California at Berkeley and finished with a teaching credential at Chico State University. Pat taught Junior High in Walnut Creek, California, before committing herself to world travel and working full time at the International House on the Berkley campus. Pat's Swedish grandmother, Elsie, influenced her interest in travel. After reading Richard Halliburton's travel odysseys including "Royal Road to Romance", Pat made several long trips to Europe and Mexico before meeting and marrying Ed, who had read the same book and had done some traveling too. Languages were easy for Pat, who speaks fluent French, Swedish, and enough German to get her into trouble.

In the San Francisco Bay Area she and Ed raised two sons and worked on an old Victorian house before living in Connecticut and Montana and then moving to Chico where the family has lived for over 32 years near her parents.

Pat retired from Chico State University as the Administrative Assistant to the vice president for student's affairs.

Pat's last trip with Ed was in January of this year to Antarctica.

Pat participated in OLLI, the senior continuing education group, attending classes in French and History. She belonged to a walk group, investment group, high school birthday group and regularly attended a quilt group.

Pat and her husband took monthly trips to Sacramento and San Francisco to attend music, theater and opera venues, and to Ashland for Shakespeare.

Pat greatly enjoyed her family and is survived by her husband of 47 years, Ed; sons, Eric and Sten; daughter-in-law, Katie; granddaughters, Kea and Addie; brother, Steve and his wife, Sharon; a niece, Erin; nephews, Ian, Debien, and Travis; a sister-in-law, Joyce Hoiland Abbott, her husband, Dave and nephews, Spencer and Nelson. Pat's family and friends will miss her positive attitude and her sincere smile.

Gifts to your favorite charity or to the local are welcome. A memorial for Pat will be held Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the Chico CARD Center.

Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Dec. 15, 2009
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