Clark Collins Hoffman was born to Gerald and Nel (Veum) Hoffman on July 9,1941, in St Paul, Minnesota. The first of four children, he was baptized into the Lutheran faith. When his parents bought the Indian Mounds in Alexandria, the family moved to “God’s Country" as Clark always called it. He and his sister, Pennie started the first pizza place in Alex at the Indian Mounds. In 1959, Clark was in the first class to graduate from the new school, Jefferson Senior High School.
While in college, he married Nancy Kahl of Alexandria. They had four children. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1963 with a degree in mathematics, he taught in Milwaukee and then returned to Alex and taught at Jefferson High School. Clark continued his education at SDSU and USD, eventually earning a Masters and PhD in Administration and Counseling.
In 1966, he began his beloved career in the United States Air Force. He flew with the Strategic Air Command and then was fighter qualified. As a pilot, his favorite planes were the OV-10 (call sign was Nail 31) and the KC-135. Clark loved to talk about those sorties. He was a Forward Air Controller in South East Asia and stationed at NKP, Thailand. He was also an instructor for the military at Florida Technological University. Captain Hoffman was honorably discharged in 1977.
Clark for a time owned and operated “Randy’s Pizza Barrel” which became the “Pizza Palace” at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Clark returned to his second love, education, teaching at St Martins Academy in Rapid City, St Francis Indian School, Harold and Ramona South Dakota. He was an instructor, principal and superintendent.
In 1987, Clark married Judy Schultz Johnson. They made their home in the woods south of Garfield. Clark began teaching at University of Minnesota, Morris. He taught a variety of math classes and math methods, and did student-teacher evaluations. After 13 years at UMM, Clark taught one year at Evansville and then retired.
Clark was an advocate for children. He was a Lunch Buddy and tutor for Alexandria District 206. He and Judy did foster care for Douglas County for many years and provided a home for over 15 teenagers. Clark and Judy were supporters of Habitat for Humanity: building, hosting at the build site, providing meals, and mentoring a Habitat family.
Clark loved trains!! He had an elaborate HO RR set up in their home. Clark was a member of the Minnesota Street Car Museum and for many years was a conductor on the street cars at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis.
Clark and Judy have been members of Shalom Lutheran Church for over 30 years. Clark served on council, was treasurer during one building project, was a willing participant of VBS (Vacation Bible School), mentored confirmation students, and served on the call committee at Shalom. He was instrumental in setting up the endowment fund.
The highlight in Clark’s life was his four kids, eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. He was Grampa to all. Grampa was a storyteller, teaser, and picture taker, always having that camera hanging around his neck! "Grandkids Camp" held by Clark and Judy created memories a plenty with ball games, riding the streetcar, camping, trips to Inspiration Peak, concerts and plays.
Clark passed away Saturday, November 7, 2020, with family by his side at the age of 79. Clark is survived by his wife, Judy; sisters, Penny (Bill) Drosky, Diane (Kerian) O’Brien, and Autumn (Woody) Hoyle; children, Connie Hoffman, Tom (Chris) Hoffman, Butch (Debbie) Hoffman, and Charlie (Deb) Hoffman; stepchildren, Jeff (Lori) Johnson and Jen (Phil) Hermes; grandchildren, Chris Maxon, Sabrina Maxon-Herron, Katey Hoffman, Courtney Hoffman, Griffin Hoffman, Sara Johnson, Matt Johnson, and Kayla Schmidt; great grandchildren, Reagan and Kinley Cherry, Nova and Leland Herron, Cayden, Colton and Carter Schmidt.
A private family memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, November 12, at Shalom Lutheran Church in Alexandria.
Clark’s memorial service will be live streamed from his obituary page on the Anderson Funeral Home website. www.andersonfuneral.net
Full military honors will be provided by Minnesota Honor Guard, American Legion Post #87, Veteran of Foreign Wars Post #936, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #235, and Marine Corps League Detachment #1409.
Interment will be in Kinkead Cemetery.
Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.
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