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Helen K. Hoffman

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HELEN K. HOFFMAN
Helen E. (Kallenberg) Hoffman, 96, of Kendal at Ithaca, a former teacher in the Ithaca Public Schools, died March 4, 2003 at her residence.An innovative and dynamic elementary school teacher, she gave many first and second graders a firm foundation in reading and arithmetic. She taught at Cayuga Heights, Fall Creek, and Henry St. John schools.Following her retirement, she volunteered with the Tompkins County Jail G.E.D. program. She was active in the First Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday School, participated in women's circles, and served as an Elder. She also sang for many years in the Senior Citizens Chorus.Mrs. Hoffman was born in Germantown, PA and lived in several cities in New Jersey before moving to Ames, Iowa as a teenager. She graduated with honors from Iowa State College in 1928. After working as a home demonstration agent in Minnesota and a social worker in the Lower East Side of New York City, she taught child development and nutrition at the University of West Virginia, where she met her future husband, Melvin B. "Pete" Hoffman.She came to Ithaca in 1933 and earned her Master's degree from Cornell in home economics. She completed her Ph.D., also at Cornell, at the age of 67, after writing a thesis based on her studies and tests of techniques used in teaching children to read. She was a licensed clinical psychologist.Mrs. Hoffman was the subject of a March 12, 1994 Ithaca Journal article entitled "The Fan Lady's Good Cheer" which chronicled her love and support of Cornell sports teams.She is survived by her son, Robert B. Hoffman of Chicago; her daughter, Mary Louise H. Kent of Cambridge, MA; two grandchildren, George Peter Kent and Elizabeth L. Kent; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Louise Kallenberg of Binghamton.A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, March 8, 2003 at 12:00 at the First Presbyterian Church, 315 N. Cayuga St.The family will receive friends following the service in the Fireside Room of the church.Memorials may be made to the Melvin B. and Helen K. Hoffman Cornell Scholarship Fund (payable to Cornell University - Hoffman Fund, 242 Roberts Hall, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) or to the Enabling Fund, First Presbyterian Church, 315 N. Cayuga St. Bangs Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements.
Published in Ithaca Journal on Mar. 6, 2003
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