Marie (Mary) Ruth Hofman was born on March 27, 1924 to Teresa and Joe P. Glanzer on a farm north of Freeman, S.D. She passed away on April 4, 2018 at Oakview Nursing Home, reaching the age of 94 years. She was the third oldest of nine children. Mary Ruth grew up on the family farm during the depression. She attended Summit District #51 School for eight years. She then enrolled at Freeman Academy, graduating in 1942. She attended Freeman Jr. College for one year and later completed an A.A. degree.
In 1937, at the age of 13, Mary Ruth accepted Jesus as her Savior following revival meetings with Rev. P. P. Tschetter basing her salvation on John 3:16. She was baptized and became a member of the Hutterthal Mennonite Church near Freeman. In August of 1965, Mary Ruth was re-baptized and joined the Salem M.B. Church where she remained a faithful member until her death. Over her life span she was very active in her church, being a member of the Ladies Aide Society, Sunday school and Bible School teacher and treasurer of different groups within the church. For many years she assisted her husband, Joe, as church custodian.
When Mary Ruth was 20 years old, she married Joe T. Hofman on May 7, 1944. Shortly after her marriage she remained in the Freeman area while Joe served his country in CPS camps at different locations in the United States. After Joe’s service, they settled down to farm the next 35-plus years. To supplement the farm income, Mary Ruth taught grade school for a total of 15 years in Turner, McCook and Hutchinson County rural school districts, taking time off for the birth of her two children and then returning to teaching. After a respite from teaching, she worked as a nurse’s aide, as a medication aide for over 19 years at the Diamond Care Center in Bridgewater, S.D., and then retired with Joe on the farm.
On January 20, 1984, while celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on a cruise, tragedy struck when fire consumed their home and all their belongings. Mary Ruth and Joe then moved to Freeman where Mary Ruth resided until her passing.
Mary Ruth gave birth to two children. Karen Lou was stillborn in 1948 and Donald Joseph was born in 1951. She cherished the time she spent with her family and extended family, especially her granddaughters Christine and Lindsey, who would spend several weeks visiting during the summer when they were young. Mary Ruth was especially proud of their accomplishments and achievements. She was always interested in their family lives and general welfare.
Mary Ruth lived a full life. She faithfully helped Joe on the farm. She was a social person and belonged to a local extension club where she was active. She also served on the election board. She and Joe liked to attend community concerts for many years and also went on bus tours across the country. Over the last 20-plus years Mary Ruth’s health deteriorated slowly at times. She had various medical issues and surgeries during this time.
It was exceedingly difficult for Mary Ruth when Joe was placed in the Freeman Nursing home in the autumn of 1998, following a stroke. She faithfully visited Joe on a daily basis until his passing in March 2003. Mary Ruth provided care not only to him, but to other residents on an informal volunteer basis. In October 2002, she suffered a severe heart attack which limited her activities. Not being able to live independently, she moved to the Tieszen Memorial Home in Marion, S.D., and then transferred to the Oakview Terrance nursing home in Freeman, where she has resided for the past six years.
Mary Ruth will be remembered for keeping up with happenings in her church and community. During her years living in Freeman, she especially relished being in close proximity to her siblings. She had stated many times her appreciation of all the acts of kindness and assistance done in love by her family while Joe was in the nursing home, as she lived alone, and then her years in two nursing homes. This proved to be a coping mechanism for her. She never forgot those gestures and was eternally thankful that God continued to provide for her through her family, especially her sister Clara and brother-in-law Cordell Graber for all that they did for her.
She leaves to mourn her son, Don, and his wife, Elaine, of Lincoln, Neb.; her granddaughters and husbands: Lindsey and Brent Hanson and their daughter Evelyn, Christine and Andy Widman and their children Reese and Evan, who all reside in Lincoln; brother Moses Glanzer; sister Clara and Cordell Graber; sister-in-law Lorraine and husband Marlow Deckert; sisters-in-law Marcella Glanzer and Eva Glanzer; brother-in-law Rheiny and wife Susie Hofman; plus a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Joe; daughter Karen; her parents Joe P. and Teresa Glanzer; and parents-in-law Christian and Justina Hofman. Also, her sisters Alma Hofer, Miriam Hamm; brothers Paul, Aaron, Raymond, and Clarence Glanzer; brothers-in-law: Jacob, Herbert and Dave Hofman, Jake Kleinsasser, Art Guericke, Ted Fisher, Joe E. Hofer, Joe Matt Hofer and Don Hamm; sisters-in-law: Justina Guericke, Marie Hofer, Anna Fisher, Lola, Isabel, Reva, Shirley Glanzer, Linda Bell and Rose Hofman.