Jeffery Edward Hoffman, 53, passed away August 21, 2019 at Avera Dougherty Hospice in Sioux Falls after a six-year long battle with metastatic synovial sarcoma, which took his left leg March 17, 2015.
Jeff was born October 8, 1965 to Jerauld and the late Shirley (Eichacker) Hoffman at St. Joseph Hospital in Mitchell, SD. He grew up on a farm southwest of Bridgewater and attended school in Bridgewater where he graduated as valedictorian in 1984. He then went on to study agriculture education at South Dakota State University in Brookings. Throughout his time in college, he spent a year as the SD FFA State Sentinel and another year as the SD State Alpha Gamma Rho President. He graduated college with his bachelor’s degree in 1988, and he later went back for his master’s degree. For two years, Jeff taught at Artesian High School, but he soon moved back home to Bridgewater where he was the agriculture teacher and FFA adviser there for 18 years. Between years teaching at Bridgewater, he spent time as an agronomist at Hefty Seed in Baltic and Ed’s Fertilizer in Emery. In 2008, Jeff then went to Mitchell High School to teach agriculture there until finishing out the 2019 school year. He also served as the South Dakota Association of Agriculture Educator’s President from 2003-2004 and the South Dakota Association of Career and Technical Education President in 2006.
Aside from being a great teacher, Jeff was also an amazing husband and father. He married his wife, Deanna (Fletcher) Hoffman of 23 years on April 20, 1996, and they had two girls, Logan Marie (21) and Sydney Rose (18). He spent much of his free time and most nights farming with his dad on the family farm where he grew up. They raised dairy cattle for years, contributing to his participation in 4-H and FFA, but in later years they switched to a beef cattle and grain operation. When he wasn’t working, Jeff enjoyed watching his daughters in school activities whether that was at FFA events, on the volleyball court, or listening to any other speeches they gave. He was also recognized as a devoted Catholic of the St. Stephen’s Church in Bridgewater where he taught CCD on Sunday and was a lector for many years, and he was also in the Knights of Columbus. Finally, Jeff had a special love for movies and music, especially classic rock. However, he will be remembered most for his hard work ethic and selflessness towards others.
Jeff is survived by his wife Deanna and his father Jerry; two daughters: Logan and Sydney Hoffman; four sisters: Sheila (Dana) Carlson, Nikki (Alvin) Graue, Jill (Wendell) Falk, and Jaimi (Jeremy) Michelson; and many other cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother Shirley, his grandparents Edward and Annetta (Biehl) Eichacker and Edward and Caroline (Determan) Hoffman, and his sisters Ann Marie (infancy) and Kristine Hoffman.
The visitation will be on Tuesday Aug. 27 at the St. Stephen’s Church in Bridgewater from 4-7 p.m. with the prayer service beginning at 7 p.m. that evening. The funeral will be held on Wednesday Aug. 28 at the Holy Family Church in Mitchell at 4 p.m. with visitations welcome within the hour before the service. The burial will follow at the St. Stephen’s Cemetery outside of Bridgewater, and a pork loin meal will be open to all also following the service at the Bridgewater High School gymnasium. All active FFA members are invited to wear their official dress, and any former FFA member is invited to either do the same, either in full official dress or partial (ex. jacket, tie, medal, state degree chain, etc.)