July 15, 1923 — April 21, 2021
Clare Edward Hoffman was born on a farm near Watauga, South Dakota, to Edna and Charles Hoffman.
He graduated from McIntosh High School in 1941, and matriculated to Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska.
Interrupting his college education, Clare enlisted in the U.S. naval aviation flight program during World War II. He served aboard the USS Nehenta Bay (CVE 74) as assistant air officer, and at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, in Washington, D.C., where he worked in officers records.
After an honorary discharge, he farmed and ranched near Morristown, South Dakota, for 19 years. During that time, Clare married Margery Meintsma, of Maple Lake, Minnesota, and was blessed with three children: Claudia, Charles and Betty.
Bringing his flying experience in the Navy to the farm, Clare had an airplane equipped with skis for winter flying to deliver groceries and mail to snowbound farmers, and flew teachers to their schools and patients to the doctor. He was also vice-president of the South Dakota Hereford Association.
At age 43, Clare and his family moved to Greeley, Colorado, to attend the University of Northern Colorado and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
He taught at Astoria High School for the next 16 years. In retirement, he donated his time and talents to help build the new Bethany Free Lutheran Church, and he and Margery taught English in Hiroshima, Japan. He was also a captain in the Oregon Civil Air Patrol.
His family and friends always appreciated Clare’s wonderful sense of humor, and the twinkle in his eye when he was joking.
His grandchildren loved to hear him tell stories from his childhood, his time in the Navy and on the farm. For years he faithfully read his Bible daily, and was a man of strong faith.
Clare was preceded in death by his daughters, Claudia and Betty, and his brother, Charles. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren.