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Barbara E. Hoffman

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Barbara E. HOFFMAN Barbara died peacefully on February 12th, 2011 surrounded by her entire family. She is now healed i the Lord's presence. Ovarian cancer was the cause of death, but she was able to defy its ruthless course for four years and live life to the full, loving those around her in the midst of her illness. Barbara was born on November 9, 1938 in Seattle and raised in Pacific, Washington with her parents Anna and Carl F. Nyberg and her two sisters Harriett and Marilyn. She was the "tomboy" of the family and spent a lot of time working alongside her father.She graduated from Auburn High School in 1956 and attended WSU before transferring to the University of Washington, graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing degree. Her clinical training and degree was awarded by Swedish Hospital. It was there she met and fell in love with her future husband, Dr. Clark Hoffman, a surgical resident. Upon graduation in '61 she took a job at King County Hospital (now Harborview) on the neurosurgical unit and worked there until she married on Dec. 28th, 1961 at University Presbyterian Church. After Clark's surgical fellowship in Chicago, the two enjoyed a memorable four-month honeymoon in Europe on just $10 a day. This past December they celebrated forty-nine years of a marriage filled with love. Barbara worked as a nurse at Swedish Hospital until she was blessed with sons Mark, Steven and Christopher. Family came first in her life. She was constant in her love and care for her boys, making sure they always had a warm and welcoming home and good food to eat. All three daughters-in-law can testify that she did a wonderful job, raising them to cherish their wives and serve their families. She loved her grandchildren and was affectionately known as "Grammy." They will miss her encouraging words, meaningful cards, delicious food (especially her oatmeal cake with slightly burnt topping), big hugs, warm smiles and special songs. Barbara made a significant impact on her community. She was active in the King County Medical Society Auxiliary, serving as president from '85 - '86, where she helped develop a program to prevent spinal cord injuries in young people. She served as president of the Washington State Medical Auxiliary from '88 - '89. She also volunteered with Ryther Child Care Center in Seattle for which she had an abiding love, the Arboretum Society, served on the board of United Way and the initial planning board for Emerald Heights, a re- tirement center in Redmond, WA. Barbara and her husband became medical missionaries after he retired in 1992. They served in American Samoa where she became the medical librarian in the LBJ Tropical Medical Center in Pago Pago. She participated in several trips to Guatemala where she used her nursing skills but was better known as the "duct tape lady" because she repaired everything with her duct tape. Their biggest assignment was in China where they spent three months each year from 1994 to 2005 where Clark helped train surgical residents at Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Hangzhou. Barbara taught classes about nursing communication and English. They adopted some of their Chinese co-workers as family and helped two Chinese nurses obtain graduate degrees. Barbara's activities included hiking, camping, sailing, tennis, skiing and enjoying time at their summer place on Hood Canal. Tennis was her love. She had a wonderful group of ladies who played together weekly and enjoyed monthly lunches, calling themselves the "Tennis Lunch Bunch". Barbara's primary driving force was her faith in Jesus Christ. She loved her faith community and served as both a deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue. She enjoyed a women's bible study called "Women at the Well" and developed a close bond with her table mates. She gained strength from her cancer support group. Along with Clark, she cherished their couple's small group that has been a backbone of support for over 25 years. Barbara and her family are grateful for all the support she received during her illness from these wonderful friends. Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Harriet and a grandson, Hunter Clark Hoffman. She is survived by her husband Clark, sons Mark (Amy), Steven (Lindsey), and Christopher (Chelea) and six grandchildren Claire, David, John, Barb, Beck and Dane. A celebration of her life will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, 1717 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers it is suggested donations be made in her honor to either Ryther Child Care Center, 2400 NE 95th St, Seattle, 98115, Jubilee REACH 14200 SE 13th St, Bellevue, 98007, or The Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, 801 Broadway, Suite 701, Seattle, 98122 or your favorite charity.
Published in The Seattle Times on Feb. 20, 2011
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