Dr. Eric Stephen Overland passed away August 5, 2013, after a six-year battle with brain cancer. He was born November 4, 1944 to Gordon M. and Maryann (Gulifoyle) Overland in Bremerton Washington. After the war, the family relocated to Missoula, Montana where he grew up along with his three younger brothers. Fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and wonderful summers at the family's cabin on Lindbergh Lake enhanced a charmed western Montana childhood, fostering a lifelong love of nature.
Dr. Overland graduated from Missoula County High School in 1962, and from the University of Portland in 1966, where he participated in the inaugural year of the University's study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria. He received his MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1970. During his third year of medical school he received a fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to study abroad for a term in Yugoslavia. He did his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y. and a fellowship in pulmonary disease at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was named "Distinguished Young Investigator" by the National Institutes of Health. He was board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, sleep medicine, and critical care. After serving two years as the head of pulmonary disease and intensive care at the Naval Regional Medical Center, Long Beach, Calif., he retired with the rank of Lt. Commander and was discharged honorably with a special letter of commendation from his commanding officer. He returned to UCSF as a member of the faculty.
Immediately after medical school graduation, June 12, 1970, Eric and Marjorie (Hunt) Overland were married. During those years of post-graduate training they welcomed son Sean, son Timothy, and daughter Maryann. The family moved to Medford, Ore. in January 1980, where Dr. Overland established his pulmonary practice. During the first years until his practice grew into Pulmonary Consultants, PC, he cared on his own for his patients in the office, the hospital, and the intensive care units at both Rogue Valley and Providence Hospitals. He founded one of the first accredited sleep labs in Oregon, and assisted pulmonologists in Santa Barbara, Calif., Klamath Falls, and Bend in their training for board certification in sleep medicine so that those communities would also be served.
Community service is a valued tradition in the Overland family, and Dr. Overland was honored to serve on the original Jackson County Air Quality Committee, as a former president of the Medford Rogue Rotary Foundation, on numerous volunteer committees serving both local hospitals, as Chief of Staff at Providence Hospital where he received the 2007 Honorary Service Award, and as president of the Jackson County Medical Society. He chaired the restoration committee of the Bear Creek Watershed Council, and was a member of several other organizations supporting conservation, wildlife, and fishing.
Eric has been aptly described as an "enthusiast" and was known for his amazing intellectual curiosity. Travel, fishing, hiking, birding, gardening, and rafting remained pursuits throughout his life, and family and friends have precious memories of wonderful adventures together. Even after his illness was diagnosed he traveled extensively, became a skilled woodworker, beekeeper, student of philosophy, and grandfather extraordinaire. Eric loved music, having studied piano for many years, and was thrilled to be a member of the Rogue Valley Chorale. A concert at Carnegie Hall in 2000, and four European tours with the Chorale were highlights of his life.
Mourning his loss are his wife, Marjorie; son, Sean Overland and his wife Rebecca Bliquez; son, Timothy and his wife Elizabeth, and their children Jack, Grace, and Sam Overland; daughter, Maryann Overland, her husband Henrik Christensen, and their children Elias and Frida Christensen; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Paul and Karen Overland; Mark and Amy Overland; and Casey and Janine Overland; nephews Peter, Brian (Maya), Luke and Ethan Overland; and niece Caitlin Overland (David Reis).
A memorial service for Dr. Overland will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the Craterian Theater in Medford. In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Rogue Valley Chorale, Providence Hospital Community Foundation, or the Medford Rogue Rotary Foundation/Overland Scholarship Fund.