Horace Hills Irvine II

June 1, 1937 - October 14, 2019

Horace “Hod” Irvine II died peacefully at his home on White Bear Lake. Hod is remembered as a highly successful electronics industry leader, an enthusiastic lover and builder of Opera in the United States, as an avid sailor, skier, golfer and tennis player, and someone who worked and played hard. He was loving, fun, smart, mischevious, and driven. He was an optimist and loved life. He enjoyed his family immensely. We all remember his hearty, spontaneous laugh.

Hod was raised in White Bear Lake, MN and attended Saint Paul Academy, St. Paul's School, and Princeton University. In 1965, Hod and his wife, Sandra, moved to Boston to attend Harvard Business School. In 1966, he started Hadco Corporation, which through his vision, leadership and salesmanship, became the largest printed circuit board company in the United States. His leadership helped pioneer a booming electronic industry.

While in Boston, he also supported the Arts. His enthusiasm, knowledge and extraordinary love for opera compelled him to use his visionary business talents as Board Chair to be a driving force behind the spectacular growth and success of the Boston Lyric Opera. He was on the Board through the end of his life. He was deeply committed to supporting new and emerging artists that are now singing in operas around the world. In addition to the BLO, Hod was a founding board member of the now prominent Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and he served on the board of National Opera Institute as President. He also served on the boards of the The Minnesota Opera, The American Repertory Theatre, and Opera America.

Hod had many loves. He was married three times to Sandra, Andrea and Cassandra. His later years were with his lifelong friend, Anne Wooliever. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Sally Irvine, and two brothers, Tom Irvine and Jock Irvine. He is survived by sister Jill Crow and brother Bill Irvine. Hod is also survived by his children, Hod Irvine III (Cynthia), Julia Madore, Kathryn Playa, Kevin Irvine, John Irvine, Cate Irvine, Andrew (Linda) Irvine and Molly Irvine. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Hod also leaves behind his exceptional assistant and devoted caregiver of nearly 12 years, Hood Kanaabi, who empowered Hod, despite significant health challenges, to continue to live his life to the fullest.

A private family memorial service was held. Memorials are preferred to Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Opera and The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

We all miss his “opera tears” and his hearty laugh.

Arrangements by Mueller Memorial - White Bear Lake

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