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Naomi Elizabeth Palmer Hoffman went home to be with her Lord on July 12, 2014, surrounded by her loving family. Daughter of the late Elizabeth Margaret Diehl and William Perry Palmer, Mrs. Hoffman was the darling of five older brothers, Leroy, Wayne, Wilbert, Floyd, and Glenn Palmer, who delighted in her company and affectionately called her "Sis." All preceded her in death.
Born in Republic, Pa., on February 24, 1932, Mrs. Hoffman graduated as a Registered Nurse from Uniontown Hospital. After enlisting in the United States Air Force
, she began her nursing career as a Flight Nurse during the Korean War
, moving to San Antonio, Texas, where she met Erie native, 1st Lieutenant Ronald Stearns Hoffman. They married in 1955 and returned to Erie where Mr. Hoffman took over running the family business, Peter Hoffman & Son Movers & Riggers – now Hoffman Industrial Company – along with Mr. Hoffman's brother, the late Elmer P. F. Hoffman. Continuously in business since 1846, Hoffman Movers/Industrial is the oldest company on record in Erie.
Mrs. Hoffman thoroughly enjoyed motherhood and was the go-to Mom for skinned knees, dry mittens, or just a hug. She shared herself as a Cub Scout Den Mother, Block Parent, and PTA leader, and wore out several station wagons carting her five children and their many friends to musical recitals, dance lessons, and other after-school activities.
She later returned to school to earn her Bachelor and Masters Degrees, became certified in Gerontology, and returned to nursing full time. The consummate caregiver, her well-rounded nursing career, following the Air Force, included private duty, elementary school nursing, and working at Hamot and Doctors Osteopathic Hospitals. She retired following fifteen years of service as Nursing Instructor and Infection Control Officer at the Soldiers and Sailors Home of Erie, where she felt honored to care for her country's fellow veterans
. Along the way, she relieved much suffering, dispensed even more compassion, and taught many others those primary obligations and privileges of her chosen profession.
Mrs. Hoffman unfailingly embodied the spirit of Christian love, intentionally believing only the best of each person with whom she came into contact. A woman of high standards, endless patience, and true compassion, she taught each of her children to be especially kind to people who weren't, that they might also come to know the unconditional love of Jesus Christ through a kind act or word. As taught to her by her mother, "No kindness is ever wasted." Mrs. Hoffman was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, the American Association of Professional Woman and the Women's Club of Erie. She faithfully supported the Erie City Mission, unable to bear the thought of anyone hungry or homeless.
Following her husband's untimely death in 1993, Mrs. Hoffman surrounded herself with her loving family. She continued to host holiday gatherings and often drove to Pittsburgh, Grove City, and Cook Forest to spend time with her daughters and their families. She was fond of painting china, gardening and preserving flowers, gourmet cooking and antiques, and genuinely loved learning, however, all activities paled in comparison to time spent with her grandchildren.
Throughout numerous serious health challenges and becoming a cancer survivor, Mrs. Hoffman's grace and humor never wavered. Declining health prompted her move to Orchard Manor Nursing Home, Personal Care Residence, in Grove City, in 2010, where daughter Diane serves as Administrator. The family is deeply grateful to the dedicated caregivers at Orchard Manor for their compassionate and respectful care, for the devotion of caregiver Faye Klingensmith, who developed a mutual and close loving relationship with Mrs. Hoffman, over the last several years of her life, and for Pastor Stephanie Thompson, who compassionately ministered to Mrs. Hoffman, and continues to provide spiritual guidance to her family.
She is survived by her five children, Diane Robinson of Grove City, Bruce Hoffman and his wife Darcy of Erie, Lynne Hoffman of Cooksburg, Rebecca Tobin and her husband Tim of Pittsburgh, and Janice Thayer and her husband Jim of Erie; nine grandchildren, Jeremy, Justin and Emily Robinson, Katherine and Hillary Hoffman, Carter Tobin, Jen Hoffman, Hannah and Jimmy Thayer; four great-grandchildren, Kara, Kylee, Noah and Jonah; two nephews, Gary and Dean Palmer, and a niece, Ellen Schutter.
Friends may call at the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 W. 26th Street (at Powell Ave.), on Thursday, where visitation at 11:00 a.m. will precede the funeral service at 1:00 p.m., and burial in Erie Cemetery, with full Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Gardens of Orchard Manor, 20 Orchard Drive, Grove City, PA 16217, or to the
Published in the Erie Times-News on July 16, 2014