Paul Gordon Hoffman, 90
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Judge Paul Gordon Hoffman passed away peacefully from complications of a stroke at his home in St. Cloud on December 14th. Paul Hoffman was born April 12, 1922, in West Lafayette, to L.E. (Leroy) and Romaine G. (nee Thompson) Hoffman. His father was a professor of agriculture at Purdue University. Judge Hoffman met his future wife, Patricia Ann Patrick, when both attended West Lafayette High School in Lafayette. Judge Hoffman attended Purdue University until he was called into military service during WWII. He joined the army and went to Officers Candidate School. He served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Philippines at Base M with a battalion composed of six companies of African American soldiers.
Following the war, Judge Hoffman returned to Purdue University to complete his degree in civil engineering. He then earned his law degree at the University of Michigan Law School in 1950. Preferring to practice law in a small town, Paul moved to St. Cloud in 1950. Judge Hoffman continued in private practice and served as the city attorney for Sauk Rapids until he was appointed a Minnesota District Judge in 1968. He remained in this position until his mandatory retirement in 1991. He worked on the Ramsey County court bench and did legal mediation until he was called back to the District bench due to judicial vacancies. He worked as a retired judge for the District court part-time until several years ago. At that time he continued legal mediation completing his final case this past year. In 2005 he was awarded the Distinguished Jurist Award by the Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota. Judge Hoffman was known for his quick mind, wit and sense of humor.
Judge Hoffman was on the board of the Central Minnesota Boys and Girls Club for 21 years and was a founding member of the Exchange Club. He was also a member of the Rotary Club, the Jaycees, and the Presbyterian Church. He was a voracious reader, an avid sports fan, a Life Master in bridge and enjoyed many hobbies and interests throughout his life. In recent years he especially enjoyed the company of his colleagues in his coffee group.
Judge Hoffman is survived by his loving wife of nearly 68 years, Patricia (Pat), whom he married on January 27,1945, in West Lafayette. He will be greatly missed by his surviving children; Mary Ann Hoffman (Damon Silvers) of Bethesda, Md, Nancy Shelmon (Clarence) of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., John Hoffman, and Peter Hoffman (Mary Jo) of St. Cloud; and grandchildren; Jennifer Silvers (Jason Buhle) of New York City, Lindsey Hoffman Sheveland (Adam) of Maple Grove, Matthew Hoffman of St. Cloud, Kyle Hoffman of Bloomington, Calvin Hoffman of Minneapolis, Nathan Hoffman (Lydia) of St. Cloud, and Evan Hoffman of Minneapolis; and, his first great-grandchild, Louis Sheveland of Maple Grove. He was predeceased by his parents; his daughter Jane Hoffman; his daughter-in-law Paula Schellinger Hoffman; and his granddaughter Lauren Hoffman.
The Hoffman family wishes to acknowledge the loving and skilled caregivers who helped care for Paul over the past few years and especially at the end of his life. Our heartfelt thanks go to Wendi Warzecka, Darlene Dillenburg, Patty Bratahiel, Mandy Stock, and Melodie Kellen.
A gathering of family and friends to make a tribute for Judge Hoffman will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2013, at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials are preferred to one of the following organizations: The Boys and Girls Club of Central Minnesota (345 30th Ave N, St. Cloud, MN 56303 (or www.bgcmn.org) or to honorflight.org (organization providing tours of honor for WWII veterans).
Obituary, Guest Book and Video Tribute available online at www.danielfuneralhome.com.
Published in the Journal & Courier from Dec. 18 to Dec. 19, 2012