February 16, 1923—June 2, 2018
John Hoffmann was born February 16, 1923, the eldest son of Hajo and Etta in Ihausen, Germany. He clearly remembered the 12-day trip by ship to Canada with bitterly cold winds every day causing he and his mother to be seasick most of the trip. The highlight of the trip was celebrating his 5th birthday on the ship. Then came the long train ride from Halifax to Esther. They finally arrived at the former Laymond farm up in the hills southwest of Esther. His younger brother Ted was born June 25 of that year – 1928.
John attended the Esther School which was a three-mile trip usually on horseback. Among his classmates were his Boden cousins. He quickly learned to speak English which also helped his parents to learn the language. While growing up he worked hard with his father on the farm as well as constructing many houses, barns and other buildings in the area. His father was a carpenter and bricklayer by trade in Germany which came in very helpful when times were tough. John helped his father build most of the brick chimneys in the Esther area as well.
In 1949 John purchased his own place, the former Henry Mulbach farm south of Esther. October 20, 1950, he married Dorothy Hewitt who had grown up across the creek from him. They raised five children – Brian, Wayne, Byrne, Russell, and Reg. More land was purchased over the years. In 1959 they purchased Dorothy’s parents’ farm and moved there. Farming was John’s life. He loved working on the land and raising livestock. He was fearless when it came to riding and working with horses. He always had at least one milk cow and for a few years as many as eight, which he milked with milking machines. He never minded having Dorothy’s flocks of chickens, ducks and geese around or all of the kids’ pets. Cattle were a big part of the farm which led to all the kids being in the 4-H beef club. He was a 4-H leader for many years which he enjoyed very much.
He took part in lots of curling bonspiels in Loverna, Esther, and New Brigden until his children became active in their activities. He enjoyed discing within the local communities as well. For several years he played the trombone in the Oyen community band along with his children with their various instruments. Music was one of his passions and he learned to play the harmonica, violin, and
accordion by ear.
John will always be remembered by his family, daughter-in-law Deb, Wayne, Byrne (Clark) Huston, Russell, Reg (Carmen); grandchildren Angela (Jim) Murphy and their children Sean, Nathasha and Tyler,
Curtis (Sarah) Hoffmann, Laura (Dwayne) MacDougall and their children Khiara, Colin, Taryn and Wyatt, Jeanine (Dean) Edge and their children Erin, Lexie and Lane, Joanne (Murray) Pole and their children Levi and Laci, Marika (Trent) Lyster and their children Brandt, Brianna and Macy, Melissa (Ty) Corbiell and their children Dane, Ryle and Barron, Brett (Tanya) Huston and their daughter Natalie, Karli (Eric) Watson and their daughter Ella, Christopher, Tayler, and Kyle Hoffmann.
John was predeceased by an infant brother; parents Hajo and Etta Hoffmann; son Brian Hoffmann; and wife of 57 years Dorothy Hoffmann.
Funeral service was held June 6 at the Esther Community Hall in Esther. Officiating clergy was Rev. Catherine Holland. The organist was Laura MacDougall and special music was provided by the Huston
Family and Laura MacDougall. A tribute was given by John’s grandchildren. Hymns were The Old Rugged Cross, How Great Thou Art, and Precious Lord Take My Hand. Pallbearers were Curtis Hoffmann, Brett Huston, Chris Hoffmann, Kyle Hoffmann, Dennis Trevor, and Milton Symes. Honorary Pallbearers were
all of John’s family and the many friends who cared and shared in his life.
Following the funeral service, family and friends were invited to a luncheon hosted by the Esther Community Club in the Community Hall. MacLean’s Funeral Home of Oyen in care of arrangements.