Melroy Jacob Hofer, son of Jacob K. and Barbara M.(Tschetter) Hofer, was born on their farm in rural Bridgewater, S.D., on May 9, 1947. Melroy, age 71, died peacefully at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Aug. 14, 2018.
Melroy attended Coolidge Country School through the eighth grade and graduated from Bridgewater High School in 1967. In high school, he enjoyed being the student manager for several of the sporting teams.
With the help of his Bible school teacher, Melroy trusted Christ as his Savior when he was a young boy attending VBS at Zion Mennonite Church in Bridgewater. Several years later, he was baptized at his church. In recent years, he faithfully attended Mitchell Wesleyan Church.
Melroy started milking cows as a young boy and farmed with his father and brothers. He hauled loads of soft water to many farms in the surrounding community. Melroy took pride in meeting his area neighbors and usually knew the latest news about their families. He was quiet and gentle. He bought sunflower seeds by the case and regularly had jawbreakers or Werther’s caramels in his pockets.
When the family sold the cows, he was hired at AMPI in Freeman, S.D. and worked there for almost 20 years. After he retired, he made daily trips to Freeman to have coffee with the guys at AMPI and kept up with the latest news from town. He enjoyed taking several bus trips with friends.
Melroy had many surgeries and farm accidents throughout his life. In spite of these incidents, he felt truly blessed by God and enjoyed life. He was faithful to his jobs, did not like to miss work, and always arrived very early to events.
Melroy is survived by his three children: Blake Allen Hofer, Kerri Jo Hofer and Colin Lee and wife, Alicia Hofer, and his grandson, Cole (all from Sioux Falls, S.D.); his brother, Dennis and wife Bonnie Hofer; and numerous nephew and nieces.
Melroy is preceded in death by his parents and two older brothers, Jerald and Wesley.
A memorial service was held at the Mitchell Wesleyan Church Friday, Aug. 17, with Rev. Dan Ziebarth officiating. A committal service preceded the memorial service at the Bridgewater City Cemetery.