Joseph D. 'Joe' Hoffmann
Joseph D. “Joe” Hoffmann, 87, of St. Joseph passed away on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at his residence.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with Father Arul Lazar officiating. Burial will follow in Riverview Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, with a prayer service beginning at 6:15 p.m., at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Memorial contributions may be made to Birth Right of St. Joseph or Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
Joe was born on Jan. 17, 1932, in Appleton, Wis., to Fred and Mary Ellen (McCarthy) Hoffmann. He graduated from Appleton High School. On Nov. 17, 1951, Joe married the love of his life, Shirley VandenHeuvel, at Holy Cross Church in Kaukauna, Wis. For a number of years, Joe owned a bakery and was proudly known as “Joe the Baker.” Unfortunately, due to some health concerns, Joe needed to change his career choice. Joe began working as an insurance agent for Metropolitan Life. He loved working with a wide variety of people and families making certain they had the best policies working in their favor. After he left Met Life, Joe began working for, and would eventually retire from, Prudential Realty. He happily worked alongside his wife, Shirley, as a real estate agent. This job also brought him great joy; not only did he continue to work with people, but he had the privilege of helping them find the “home of their dreams.”
One of the accomplishments he was most proud of was the court case of Hoffmann v. Red Owl, where he was the David that slew Goliath, which established the Doctrines of Promissory Estoppel and Detrimental Reliance. This court case has benefited small businesses everywhere. Joe was a tremendous support to this community, always lending a hand when needed. As a lifelong member, Joe proudly supported St. Joseph Catholic Church, Birth Right of St. Joseph, Lake Michigan Catholic Schools and Spectrum Health Lakeland, formerly Lakeland Medical Center. He also enjoyed reading poetry and his Bible. However, what meant the most to Joe was spending time with his family. His family brought him so much happiness. Joe will truly be missed by all.
Joe is survived by his loving wife of nearly 68 years, Shirley; children, Susan (Kevin) Corder of St. Joseph, Jeanne (Bruce) Hoffmann-Rasch of Cincinnati, Catherine (Rick) Riggin of Plainwell, Mich., Mary (Robert) Ching of Louisville, Ky., Patrick (Lisa) Hoffmann of St. Joseph, Helen (Mike) Krizman of South Bend, Simon (Lara) Hoffmann of St. Joseph and Joy (Bill) Dunwoodie of Atlanta; 24 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and siblings, Francis Fluguar of Minneapolis and Richard Hoffmann of Appleton.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; son, Peter Hoffmann; siblings, Ethel (Elmer) Coon, Archibald (Barbara) Hoffmann, Margy (Lyle) Sommers and Jen (Buzz) Keesler; brother-in-law, George Fluguar; and sister-in-law, Dory Hoffmann.