The Daily Item
FREEBURG — Oscar “Ozzie” Hoffman, 91, our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, father-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, neighbor and friend, passed away peacefully holding the hands of his daughters on Friday, April 5, 2013, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law. Just as he lived his life, he fought the good fight with strength, courage and determination, surrounded every step of the way by his family, who loved him so very much, and the wonderful caring staff of SUN Home Health and Hospice.
Oscar was born in Freeburg on Oct. 29, 1921, a son of the late Simon E. and Rose (Dunkelburger) Hoffman. On Dec. 28, 1946, he married his loving wife, the former Isabella North Hendricks, who preceded him on Jan. 28, 2010, ending a loving and committed marital union of 63 years.
Oscar was a 1939 graduate of Freeburg High School, a class consisting of eight boys and four girls.
After graduation, he worked in a hosiery mill until September 1942 when he was drafted into the Army Air Corps, serving in World War II along with his two brothers. While in the Army Air Corps, he went to Aircraft School, where he learned to work on B17 bomber planes. He volunteered to go overseas to England, France and Germany. While in France, he built a plane from spare parts that he used to fly to southern France to reunite with his brothers. He spent three years three months in the Army Air Corps, where he was promoted through the ranks to staff sergeant with military qualifications including the Airplane Mechanics Badge and Carbine 43 Sharpshooter. Oscar was honorably discharged in December 1945 after being decorated with the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars. Upon his departure from the Army Air Corps, Oscar returned to the hosiery business until he went to bricklaying school. With bricklaying skills honed, he became a contractor, worked and retired in his own contracting business with a partner, having built many homes and swimming pools.
Oscar was a member of Freeburg United Methodist Church, Freeburg. He attended regularly and was loved by many of the church members. He was a life member of the Freeburg Fire Company and the Canyon Lodge in Tioga County, where he enjoyed hunting with his family members. Oscar was a member of the Shade Mountain Golf Course and a former member of the Susquehanna Valley Country Club.
As a young man, Ozzie was quite an athlete. He was an outstanding pitcher-infielder for the Freeburg Bucs. He played soccer and was moved to the varsity team in eighth grade. He was an avid hunter and fisherman who truly enjoyed the out-of-doors. He enjoyed bowling and scored high and enjoyed time with his brother, John. His favorite sport for the past 50-plus years was golf. He excelled at his favorite pastime with the Susquehanna Valley Country Club championship in 1972, scoring five holes-in-one and shooting his age beginning at the age of 78 many times throughout his golfing career.
He is survived by his two daughters, Martha H. “Marti” Bowen and husband Bill, of Selinsgrove, and Debra H. McDonald and husband Len, of Harrisburg; nine grandchildren, Matthew and Melanie Bowen, Kristin and Ryan Powell, Ryan and Malina Bowen, Ivy and Brian Harro, Chandra Hoffman and Jamie Cornwell, Fonda and Dan Heintzelman, Jaredd and Leslie Bird, Alisha Bird and Ashley Bird; 11 great-grandchildren, Josephine Bowen, Cassan Powell, Bennett Bowen, Brice and Caitlin Harro, Aaron and Shelby Shrawder, Hannah, Lauren and Chase Heintzelman and Joshua Ash; one sister, Martha Neff; one sister-in-law, Lj Hoffman; and seven nieces and nephews.
He was preceded by a son, David O. Hoffman; two brothers, John and Bill Hoffman; one sister-in-law, Mildred Hoffman; one brother-in-law, Harold Neff; and a nephew, Thomas Hoffman.
Oscar was a familiar name in Freeburg, having been born in Freeburg and living his entire life in his beloved town. He enjoyed friends and neighbors who also called Freeburg their “home.” Oscar was a strong, honest and determined individual. He was a kind and caring man who loved most of all spending time with his family. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed sharing his many stories with family, neighbors and friends. After he lost his beloved wife, Isabella, in 2010, his son, David, in 2011, and his brother, John, in 2012, he showed his strength as he found his way on a daily basis. Over the past months, his health and loneliness convinced him that he was ready to go “home” to his loved ones who passed before him, which he peacefully did on April 5, 2013.
The family will receive friends for the viewing from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the George P. Garman Funeral Homes Inc., 9366 Route 35, Mount Pleasant Mills. There also will be a viewing from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at Freeburg United Methodist Church, Church Street, Freeburg, followed by the funeral at 11 with the Rev. Patricia A. Bennett officiating.
Burial, with full military honors accorded by American Legion Victory Post 25, Selinsgrove, and Selinsgrove Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6631, will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Freeburg.
Donations may be made in Oscar’s memory to Freeburg United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 188, Freeburg, PA 17827, or SUN Home Health and Hospice, 61 Duke St., Box 232, Northumberland, PA 17857.