Emma E. Hofer: 1926-2021
Emma Esther Hofer was born Sept. 22, 1926 at the home of her parents Joe K. Hofer Sr. and Elizabeth Hofer. She was born at the Michael D. Hofer farm south of Bridgewater, S.D. and attended the Neu Hutterthal Church until the age of 14. In 1940 the family moved to the Dolton, S.D. area where she attended Dolton school and graduated from Dolton High School in 1944.
She attended Freeman Junior College in 1945 and taught at a country school from 1946 to 1947 located just north of the Paul E. Hofer farm west of Dolton.
She married Melvin L. Hofer on March 23, 1947 in the Bridgewater gym. Together they started farming six miles south of Bridgewater. Three sons were born: Dallas, Harlis and Lyndon.
Emma was baptized at Hutterthal Mennonite Church and retained her membership all her life. Church was a big part of her life. She sang in various choirs, taught Sunday school, and was involved in Women in Mission. Emma was a prayer warrior for her cherished family, praying for each one daily by name. She was an avid gardener, enjoying the outdoors and loved to can and share her harvest. She raised and butchered chickens and ducks. Emma was an excellent cook and fed many men as the farm was being built. Her quiet and gentle spirit was a blessing to all her family. She was a loving wife to Melvin and shared in all his interests.
After retiring from farming in 1988, Melvin and Emma moved to Freeman. Emma continued her passion for gardening. In 2015 they moved to the Dewald Street apartments and in 2019 moved to Oakview Terrace nursing home in Freeman. Emma remained at the nursing home following Melvin’s passing in March of 2020.
She so appreciated her children and families. Left to mourn her passing are her two sons and spouses; four grandchildren and their spouses; and 12 great-grandchildren. Sons and spouses include Dallas and Cindy (Abrahamson) of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Lyndon and Barbie (Feist) of Bridgewater; grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Tamara and Randy Knecht of Sioux Falls and their children Kelsey, Connor, Dylan and Gavin; Terra and Matt Brost of Sioux Falls and their children Hunter, Aniya and Gabriella; Amanda and Rodney Mettler of Menno, S.D. and their children Egan, Isaac and Otto; and Ashton and Lee Dockendorf of Bridgewater and their children McKoen and Leighton.
Also left to mourn are brother and sister-in-law Sam E. (Lois) Hofer of Salem; and two brothers and sisters-in-law Vernon (Norma) Hofer of Freeman, S.D. and Merlin (Sylvia) Hofer of Freeman.
Preceding her in death are her husband Melvin; stillborn son Harlis; her parents Joe K. Sr. and Elizabeth Hofer; Melvin’s parents Jacob L. Jr. and Annie Hofer; brother John J. and wife Martha Hofer and brother Joe K. Jr. and wife Lorraine Hofer; brothers and sisters-in-law Evelyn (Arnold) Hofer, Marjorie (Sam A.) Hofer and Kenneth (Glennis) Hofer.