Douglas (Doug) Michael Irish-Hosler was born on January 18, 1942, in Lansing, Michigan. Shortly thereafter he was adopted by Dorothy Hart Hosler and Maynard David Hosler. Four years later his sister, Mary (Diane) was adopted. The family lived in Lansing, MI; Kendallville, IN; and Ft. Wayne, IN.
During Doug's time in Cincinnati, he worked at the Museum of Natural History; and in the summers he worked as a fry cook and a security guard. Upon moving to PA he worked at Dergance Ford for a year; then from 1965 to1979 Doug taught crafts at McDowell High School in Millcreek, PA. From 1979-2013, he was a self-employed potter, sculptor, painter, and builder whose work has been exhibited in over 200 galleries throughout the U.S., Korea, and Japan and is included in many collections. Between 1960 and 1994, he was given over 20 one-person shows at galleries in CA, IN, MA, MI, NY, OH, TX, Wash. DC, and WV. He also participated in more than 20 invitational shows in CA, CT, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, WA, and Japan and received numerous corporate and individual commissions. Between 1972-1994, he presented workshops at 3 universities and 2 arts organizations. He also participated in numerous art shows and fairs in the U.S., receiving several "Best in Show" and "Special Recognition" awards. Doug attributed much of his creative success to the inspiration of his high school art teacher Don McLead and his wife Jan.
In addition to his 3 dimensional work, Doug was involved in writing. He had articles published in Ceramics Monthly, Showcase Magazine, Network, and Crafts Report. For several years, Doug and Penny published the North East School District Newsletter and The Great Lakes Chapter of American Rhododendron Society Newsletter. Doug also reviewed books for Timber Press in Portland, OR, wrote poetry and has written two unpublished novels.
Orchids were his lifelong passion, and during his life he built 3 greenhouses for them, and designed a 4th. Besides hybridizing orchids, he hybridized lilies, and rhododendrons. At various times he belonged to numerous botanical, art, and art education organizations.
Doug's interest in and concern for quality public education was evident even after leaving teaching. He was elected a North East School District Director and served on the Board from 1979-84, twice as vice-president. In 1996 and 1997, he worked for Potratz FloraI Shop. In 1998 he was hired by the governing board of the Arts Council of Erie to be their Arts in Education Director in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. During his tenure, the program went from 3 to 12 counties with over 50 artist residencies in over 50 school districts and social service agencies. He had to retire in 2004 after triple bypass heart surgery, and in 2005 was awarded the PA Art Education Association Friend to Art Education Award in the state capital.
In 2009, Doug and Penny moved to Douglas, AZ, a town they quickly came to love as much as North East.
Doug is survived by Penny; his sister, Diane Kirkpatrick; her 4 children and 8 grandchildren; Penny's sister and brother-law, Mary Lou and Bob Morton; and their 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Also important in their lives has been Gregory Hites of Cambridge, MA, for whom they were guardians in 1966-67. His family and many friends, remember him for his great intelligence, paintings, clay work, sense of humor, cooking, creative building projects, and mentoring.
Doug died at home of a massive heart attack on March 4, 2013. As per Doug’s request, he was cremated with no service being held. His ashes will be with Penny in Douglas, AZ.
Memorial donations can be made to the Douglas Fire Department Rescue Squad, 1400 E. 10th St, Douglas, AZ 85607; Arts in Education Division of the Arts Council of Erie, 310 French St., Erie, PA 16507; and the Cochise County Library System, c/o Douglas Library, 560 10th Street, Douglas, AZ 85607.
Brown Page Mortuary is in charge of arrangements, 364-3434