Alfred "Al" W. Hoffman, age 85, of Willmar, passed away on Sunday morning, Dec. 23, at Bethesda Grand in Willmar.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jan 12, at the Bethesda Grand Chapel in Willmar (901 Willmar Ave. SE.). Interment will be at a later date. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Memorials in his honor may be made to Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, 12718 10th Street NE, Spicer, MN 56288 or the Nicollet Conservation Club, 46045 471st Lane, Nicollet, MN 56074. Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. www.petersonbrothers.com
Al was born on August 24, 1933 in Montevideo, MN to William and Elsie (Kvien) Hoffman. He grew up in Granite Falls, MN and was an avid outdoorsman and athlete from an early age. He was a four sport letterman at Granite Falls High School and enjoyed hunting and fishing along the Minnesota River.
After graduation in 1951 he enlisted in the Navy for service in the Korean War. He spent his tour of duty aboard the USS Kaskaskia, stationed out of Sasebo, Japan. He appreciated his Navy years for the opportunity to serve and the ability to spend time overseas.
After his discharge from the Navy in 1955 he enrolled at Mankato State College and looking for a path into a medical career, became the first male nursing student in the school’s history. In class, he met Donna Oleson and they married on September 8, 1957. He then began working for his father-in-law’s construction business while attending school at night to complete a degree in Construction Management. He eventually took over the business and his company completed many commercial and residential projects in and around the Mankato area. He especially enjoyed projects involving preservation of historical buildings and sites, and completed a number of these throughout the state.
In the 1980’s he returned to Mankato State University to pursue a master’s degree in Urban Studies then began a second career as the Physical Plant Director at the Willmar Regional Treatment Center in Willmar. There he oversaw the maintenance, preservation and enhancement of the buildings and grounds.
Al and Donna enjoyed gardening and their home is known for its beautiful flowerbeds, especially in spring when Al’s favorite tulips were in bloom. They also enjoyed roaming through antique and thrift stores and bidding at auctions to add to their many collections. To Al, if one was good, two (or more) was better. He also found satisfaction in creating many beautiful stained glass pieces.
However, from a young age, Al’s biggest passions were the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He spent many days pursuing that passion, sometimes on his own, but more often in the company of family and friends. Many trips were made up north, to Canada, the Dakotas and Wyoming. But, he found his greatest joy at the family cabin on Swan Lake in Nicollet, MN. There he hunted ducks, geese, wild turkey and deer; spent time with family and friends, watched countless Twins and Vikings games and simply enjoyed his life.
He is survived and will be greatly missed by his wife, Donna; his children and their spouses, Bruce Hoffman and Erin Orth, Overland Park, KS, Lisa Hoffman and Rusty Elder, Mankato, Brian and Mary Kay Hoffman, Mankato, Todd and Liz Hoffman, Chanhassen, Christine Hoffman and Steve Sollien, St. Paul; his grandchildren, Andrew Hoffman, Claire, Hannah, Daniel and Kyle Hoffman; and his great granddaughter, Andalucia (“Isa”) Hoffman. He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Mueller, Granite Falls, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws, brother, William Hoffman, Jr., granddaughter-in-law, Elspeth Carlstrom, a niece and a nephew.