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Irvin Jolliver ’51

May 28, 2018, in Vancouver, Washington.

Irvin grew up near the railroad roundhouse in Vancouver, Washington, where he played with his cousins and friends. He loved everything about trains and would later site his home based in part on its proximity to the train tracks. He attended Vancouver High School, was elected to the Honor Dramatic Society, and because of that recognition was given the opportunity to design and build the sets for the senior production of Pride and Prejudice. When World War II broke following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Irvin joined the army and served for three years in the Pacific region as a classification specialist with an aviation engineer battalion participating in the construction of airfields on Guam and Okinawa. 

After the war, Irwin’s high school teacher and mentor, Pearl Hall, encouraged him to participated in a joint program between the Portland Museum Art School and Reed College. At Reed he met his wife, Berenice Stocks ’52. A lifelong educator, Irwin taught ceramics at the Portland Museum Art School for 18 years and then taught humanities, art, and biology at Hudson’s Bay High School for more than 35 years. He was selected for the National Endowment for the Humanities faculty, and he and Bernice established the Vancouver Arts and Crafts Fair.

A member of the Mayor’s Art Commission, Irwin participated in the selection of the architectural firm to design Vancouver’s city hall. He spent years renovating the home and grounds he built next to the home of his teachers, Ruth and Pearl Hall, and created many interesting landscape features from found materials. Irvin spent summers working for the Erickson Farms, driving all kinds of equipment, a skill he picked up during his years in the military. In addition to his interests in railroads, he was a watercolorist who liked to paint trains in landscapes. He taught wine tasting at Harris Wine Cellars in Portland.

After retiring, he devoted time to building extensive train models, chasing trains around the northwest, and watching trains with friends at the Vancouver Depot. He travelled extensively. Irvin is survived by his wife, Berenice, and his children, Cerise, Linette, Cynthia, Holly, and Vincent.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2018

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