It Takes a Family to Comfort a Family
On December 27, 2020, Lilian Hoaglund passed away peacefully in her home with her family by her side after a long battle with cancer. She will be remembered as a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, a caring friend and neighbor, and a thoughtful, generous person. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 46 years, John Hoaglund, and her parents, Gunnar and Magdalena (Manecke) Nilsson.
Lilian was born April 3, 1940, in Ludvika, Sweden, and grew up there with her older sister, Maj-Britt, and their parents. After completing her education and living in Stockholm for a year she moved to Germany to work as a secretary in the Swedish Consulate in West Berlin, where she later met her American husband. The couple were married June 18, 1966, in Ludvika. They settled in West Berlin and had two children before moving to Newport News, Virginia, in 1973 when John accepted a position teaching Philosophy and Logic at Christopher Newport College.
Lilian began her career in the U.S. working as a secretary for the City of Newport News, later working at the BASF Corporation in Williamsburg, and finally in the president’s office at the College of William and Mary, where she retired in 2007 after thirteen years of dedicated service. She also went back to college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, graduating with honors from Christopher Newport College in 1991.
Fluent in Swedish, German and English, Lilian loved to travel. She visited Europe often over the years, seeing relatives and friends in Sweden and also spending time in France, Germany, and Italy. When the children were young, the family had adventurous summers, traveling across America by car and through Europe by car and train. In 1980, the family spent half a year living in Norway after John was awarded a Fulbright at the University of Bergen, and in 1986 they spent three weeks traveling in Greece. All of her life Lilian was very close to her sister, Maj-Britt, who lives in Sweden. The two stayed in touch with phone calls and traveled together as often as possible. They took many fun trips together with their husbands and later just the two of them. In recent years, Lilian had taken trips with her sister and friends to Austria, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, Jordan, and Turkey, and even rode in a hot air balloon over Cappadocia.
With her husband she shared a love of art, classical music, theatre and opera. Together they visited many art museums in the U.S. and Europe and frequently attended performances locally and in Washington, D.C., and New York City. The couple also shared the work of running their own small publishing company. Lilian enjoyed reading, cooking, swimming, and being in nature. She tended the many flowers in her yard and often walked in the park on the Noland Trail. She was an avid beachgoer, having owned a vacation home in Virginia Beach for 17 years, and the family often spent the holiday season on the warm sands of the Caribbean.
Lilian was a kind, wonderful person with a great sense of humor. Young at heart, she enjoyed having fun with friends and family, including spending time with and caring for her young grandson. As a septuagenarian, she surprised her family by embracing new technology like the iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. She was an energetic and selfless person, always endeavoring to make life easier for those around her.
Lilian will be dearly missed. She leaves behind her daughter Larissa Hoaglund and her husband, Thomas Persichetti, of Alexandria, Virginia; her son Glen Hoaglund, his wife Jessica, and her grandson Hudson, of Virginia Beach; her sister Maj-Britt Frangos of Stockholm, Sweden; and her nephew Per Nilsson and his family of Stockholm, Sweden.
Due to COVID restrictions a private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society at cancer.org/involved/donate/memorial-giving.html.
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.