Joe Danny Hofer: 1937-2021
Joe Danny Hofer passed away at his home on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
Joe Danny was born on March 21, 1937, in rural Bridgewater, S.D. as the sixth of 10 children to Paul K. and Margaret (Gross) Hofer. His family later moved to Spencer, S.D. when he was in the fourth grade.
During high school, he excelled at football, basketball and track. He helped to lead his football team to an undefeated record during his senior year. Through these activities he established many relationships, which he maintained up until his death. One of the most meaningful relationships was with his coach, Verne Olson. He continued to enjoy athletics throughout his life by working as a referee and attending various athletic events with his wife, children, grandchildren, family and friends.
As a young child Joe Danny accepted Christ as his personal Savior and on his profession of faith was baptized on Sept. 19, 1954, by Rev. Albert Ewert at Neu Hutterthaler Mennonite Church. After graduation from Spencer High School in 1955, he enlisted with the Army 11th Airborne Paratroopers Division as a medic. He did his training in Fort Campbell, Kent., and then he was stationed in Augsburg, Germany. Upon his return from Germany, he received an honorable discharge from the Army and returned to South Dakota. His military honors include rifle marksman, medic and military police.
He attended Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, S.D., where he studied auto mechanics. After college, he married Genevieve Hofer on June 25, 1961 at Hutterthal Mennonite Church in Freeman, S.D. They rented a farm near Freeman where they began farming. His love of farming led him to purchase his present farm in 1969 where he resided until his death. Joe Danny and Genevieve had two children, Janelle and Kennon.
Joe Danny loved to travel with his wife and family. His extensive travels included all 50 states, as well as many other countries.
In 1968, he and his brother-in-law, Vernon Hofer, began Rural Manufacturing Co., Inc. of which Joe Danny was the vice president. He worked many farm shows and fairs where he met and made many lifelong friends. He maintained an active role with the company up to his death. He was also active in his community by serving on several boards including Freeman Co-Op Oil and the telephone board.
Joe Danny had a lifelong love of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and he was never afraid to share his faith with others. Upon his baptism, he became a member of Neu Hutterthaler Church in Bridgewater. He later moved his membership to Salem-Zion Mennonite Church in Freeman. He actively served in his church throughout his life including being a Sunday school teacher, serving as a trustee, and opening his home for weekly Bible studies through Campus Crusade.
He and Genevieve were also active members of the Gideons.
Those mourning his departure are his wife, Genevieve; two children, Janelle and her husband Steve Moe, Sioux Falls, and Kennon Hofer and his wife Mary, Freeman; four grandchildren: Elizabeth and her husband Jonathon Gallagher, Nashville, Tenn., Victoria Moe, Catherine Moe, and Lincoln Hofer; four sisters and one brother: Selma (David) Mendel, Sioux Falls, Bernice (Dave) Kiner, Oklahoma City, Okla., Caroline (John) Gallo, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Katy Ann Dierks, Kirksville, Mo., and Paul (Priscilla) Hofer, Freeman; one sister-in-law, Jeanette Hofer, Bridgewater; one brother in-law, Vernon (Twyla) Hofer, Freeman; and many nieces and nephews.
Joe Danny was preceded in death by his father in 1961 and his mother in 1994; four brothers and two sisters-in-law: Solomon (Rose), Clarence (Joyce), Willard, and Dwane; one brother-in-law, Dennis Dierks; and one nephew, Steven Hofer.