John R. Hofmann Jr.
John R. Hofmann, Jr.

John Richard Hofmann, Jr., our "Jack," died April 3, 2021, at his home in Belvedere, California. He was 98. His death came just over a year after that of his beloved wife, Molly Macdonough Hofmann, to whom he had been married for 66 years. He spent much of the last year, since Molly's death, retelling stories of their many adventures. She was the love of his life and their years together were full and blessed with friends, golf, tennis, lunching, dominoes, travel, Clear Lake, children and grandchildren.

Dad was extremely well respected as a father, friend and mentor. His sage advice was sought out frequently, and his soft, loving nature was comforting to many. He had a wonderful sense of humor that exhibited itself even during his last days, as the trials of aging weighed on him. Who could forget that "I've-got-something-unexpected-to-say-so-listen-up" kind-of-look, exhibited by the raising of his eyebrows and the tilt of his head?

One might remember him as the man who could balance a martini on his knee, could talk to cows in their own language with exquisite precision, and could play a mean game of dominoes. He was a man who loved to explore, to take a drive down a random country road, to tell stories about his life, and who remembered every single detail of our family history, until the very end!

Jack was born in Oakland, California on June 24, 1922, to John Richard Hofmann and Esther Starkweather Hofmann. His brother, Burt, and Jack both attended University High. Jack was active with the varsity crew and student politics. He participated in the Oakland Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, and spent summers working at the High Sierra Diamond O Camp in Yosemite.

He attended UC Berkeley from 1940-1943, graduating in Economics. He was a member of the varsity crew and was a Commanding Officer of the ROTC. During World War II, he served with the Coast Artillery Anti-Aircraft defenses for Pearl Harbor. He was discharged as a Captain in 1946. He then received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1949.

Jack joined Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro in 1949, became a partner in 1959, and practiced for 46 years specializing in corporate, insurance and securities law. He was a pioneer in the formation and representation of large group malpractice insurance companies, some of which are now the largest physician and dentist-owned professional liability insurance companies in the USA.

Jack was very active in civic and community service activities. He served as City Attorney for the City of Belvedere from 1957-1959, during which time he was a principal participant in the successful effort to preserve Richardson Bay. He was on the Board of Directors of Catholic Social Services of Marin County, the Belvedere Tennis Club, the Big C Society at UC Berkeley and was a member of the County of Marin Aviation Commission. He also served on the Marin County Civil Grand Jury.

Jack was a long time member of The Pacific Union Club and an Old Guard member of the Bohemian Club. He was an avid skier for more than 65 years, retiring his skis in his early 80's. At age 50, he took up running, solo and with friends and family, and wherever his travels may have taken him. He even ran the Bay to Breakers through his 70's!

Dad found value in the uniqueness of each person he encountered. He had friends and admirers of all ages. He was attentive and warm, and led with grace and dignity. A real class-act! It is a testament to him to note that at nearly 99 years old with so many of his friends having left us already, there are countless more still here feeling the loss of this great man. He was loved by many and his passing leaves a giant hole in our hearts. We are comforted to know he is resting peacefully now with our mother.

He is survived by his children, John Richard Hofmann III (Trip) of California; Gretchen Hofmann of Colorado; and Joan M. Hofmann of Idaho; and five grandchildren, Whitney Will of Washington; Joseph Hack of Colorado; Emily Alexander of Idaho; Olivia Alexander of California; and Jackson Alexander of California; and one cherished great-grandson, Ewan Elijah Keith of Washington. He is preceded in death by his wife, parents and brother, and his daughter, Sarah Worthington Hofmann, and grand-daughter, Eva Denali Will.

Throughout his life Jack was guided by his devotion to his Catholic faith. A service will be celebrated in his memory at 2 PM on Saturday July 17, 2021 at St. Hilary's Church in Tiburon, California.

Memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Charities of San Francisco or St. Hilary's Church.

Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Apr. 13 to Apr. 18, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Celebration of Life
St. Hilary's Church
Tiburon, CA
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8 Entries
David Hack
July 10, 2021
David Hack
July 10, 2021
David Hack
July 10, 2021
David Hack
July 10, 2021
David and Joseph Hack
July 10, 2021
I put down family because I was married to Sarah Worthington Hofmann, deceased, his third child along with sister's Joan and Gretchen and big brother John, whom everyone called Trip for triple Hoffman Juniors. Boy, glad I got that out of the way. Although daughter Sarah's death was, to say the least tragic, i spent many memorable with the Hoffman family, so many, I couldn't even begin to tell stories about. My mother, Joan Mary Adams Hack, was sick with cancer when Sarah and I got married. She lived long enough to attend our wedding but not long enough to meet her grandson, Joseph John Hack, who was born nearly a year after her death. i like to categorize that as the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away because my son, Jacks Grandson, was a blessing to us all. My mother, before she died, wrote a letter to Mollie and Jack telling them she was grateful that her son was becoming part of a wonderful family which made her feel more comfortable in facing the inevitable. And, on more than one occasion, Jack would lean over the table after dinner nd during drinks and remind me of this letter and what it meant to his family. I loved and still love Trip, Gretchen and Joan like they were my own brothers and sisters. Since Joe is all grown up now, I don't have to take him up to Marin County or Clearlake for long weekends or holidays. Oh Shucks. I had the best times of my life with the Hoffman family, watching all of Joe's cousins growing up, being part of the ups and downs that life inevitably throw your way. When I called Joan and Gretchen to offer my condolences it had been awhile since we talked. I got very emotional when I talked to them because it had been so long and the familiarity was overwhelming. I will miss you Jack, but I miss it all, your family, your friends, and the world only special people like you can create the framework for. RIP Love you, David Hack
David Myles Hack
May 17, 2021
I am blessed to have known Jack and to have been his secretary for so many wonderful years. I moved from Milwaukee to San Francisco in 1978 to be his secretary.
April 18, 2021
Dearest Trip, Gretchen & Joan and all your families,
We send our deepest love & condolences in your loss and our great joy at having known, loved and been loved by “Uncle Jack”. Your tribute to him says it all - he was a man of deep character & values which he modelled with his life. Rest peacefully - we who remain will try and follow in those giant footsteps.
Betsey & Liz and all our family
Betsey Drake
April 15, 2021
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