Born July 10, 1929 in Lansing, Illinois to John and Eva Scheidt Hoffman, he was the seventh child in a family of 10 kids and raised in Crown Point, Indiana. He married his high school sweetheart, Janet Elaine Chittum on Oct. 23, 1948 and moved to Salt Lake City with Jan’s family. They were blessed with five boys and one girl.
Dad always was a hard worker and taught all of us how to work. He worked many jobs to provide for his family. He worked at Continental Bank in Salt Lake City and was in charge of the data processing center and was a key figure in starting the computerized systems in banks. He loved to sing and was a member of the “Tune Tenders” in the Barbershop Quartet. He also sang in the choir at The Cathedral of the Madeleine Catholic Church.
Don was a sergeant major in the Army Reserves and retired with 26 years of service. He was always proud to be an Army veteran.
Don was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved the outdoors. In 1968, he had enough of the banking industry and the “rat race” of the city. He decided he wanted to get back to nature and do something as a family. He resigned from the banking industry and moved the family to Castle Valley, 25 miles east of Moab and began Hoffman’s Castle Valley Ranch.
There was a small home and nothing else. We, as a family built it all from the ground up. We built a bunkhouse and tack room, two cabins, a shower/toilet building and a ranch kitchen and a store. We served nightly barbecue chicken and roast beef dinners off of an old wagon. We took people on trail rides and had campfire entertainment with Dave and Tim playing their guitars and Dad on the harmonica. Plus nightly skits were always fun.
He also worked in Moab as the economic development director for Grand County and engaged in industrial promotion, organized the Water Conservancy District and was instrumental in getting Ken’s Lake built and started the first grapes grown for the wineries.
After six years of running the ranch, the boys were grown and moving away. Don and Jan, along with Sue and Paul, moved to Price, Utah in 1974 and they opened Hoffman’s Hard Hat Furniture and Appliance and it is still open today.
Paul is the store manager and Sue does all the bookwork. Dad and Jan retired from the store and enjoyed traveling to all 50 United States and a lot of foreign countries, too. In 1999 he had a massive stroke that affected his speech. For 19 years he couldn’t talk, but that didn’t stop him. He always carried a pen and paper with him and could write a lot down. In 2008 he had a double aorta aneurysm and he survived it. The doctors always said he was a “walking miracle.”
He was a member of Notre Dame Catholic Church, in the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Price Elks Lodge #1550, past president of the Price Kiwanis Club and proud to be part of the American Legion. He served on many committees and boards in the county.
He fell Monday, Sept. 17 and broke his hip and his body just couldn’t take it anymore. He died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, and took his last breath right after the Catholic priest gave him his last rites.
He is survived by sons David (Tammy) Hoffman, Price; Tim (Lisa) Hoffman, Wheat Ridge, Colorado; Paul (Tami) Hoffman, Price; daughter, Sue (John) Douros, Price; daughter-in-law Diane Anderson Hoffman, Moab; 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren; two sisters, Marcella and Rosie and one brother, Francis Hoffman. He was preceded in death by his wife, Janet Chittum Hoffman; sons, Danny and Ken Hoffman; granddaughters, Hanna Hoffman and Billy Gentry Brown; both parents, and four brothers and two sisters.
The family would like to thank the staff at The Heirloom Inn in Price for the wonderful care and love shown to our dad. Also to Dr. Shane Gagon for his medical help over the years and to the staff at Castleview Hospital.
A vigil was held Sept. 24 at Mitchell’s Funeral Home, where family met with friends from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. A funeral mass was held Sept. 25 at Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church and a committal service at the Price City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Notre Dame Church or American Fork Training Center. Friends are welcome to share memories of Don online at www.mitchellfuneralhome.net