Cover photo for Lorene Margaret Hoffman's Obituary
Lorene Margaret Hoffman Profile Photo
1918 Lorene 2021

Lorene Margaret Hoffman

July 6, 1918 — January 17, 2021

Lorene Margaret Nies Hoffman, a remembrance from 1918 to 2021 It creates a desire to examine a million moments when you must write a brief history of the past 102 years of the life of your own mother. Which to pick and choose? I cannot simple select the triumphant ones, for they would not standout without the moments of defeat. I could not write that her parents joyfully welcomed a healthy new daughter born into the world in their Kettleman Lane farmhouse without mentioning it was during the Pandemic of 1918. I could not put down that she was happily engaged to Arthur J Hoffman in the summer of 1941 but with the December bombing of Pearl Harbor, the wedding was rushed when Art was recalled to active duty. I would note that the blissful honeymoon lasted 2 days before Art was transferred to North Carolina for training and a separation that would last months. For life then was bittersweet. Moments had to be cherished NOW, for there might not be another day. There was not a tomorrow for so many of their friends and relatives, but for Lorene and Art there would be. I should not share Lorene’s successes, without her struggles. I once asked her what it was like to be poor in the Great Depression of the 1930’s. She said, “Guess it was hard, but we didn’t know we were poor, we were just like everybody else in Lodi. We grew and raised our food on the farm and had three sets of clothes, so we were ok. Sometimes a bum would come to our home and my mother would give him a sandwich, because he was less fortunate than we were.” When Prohibition ended, Lodi and wine grapes began to thrive, Lorene and her sisters, Lillian and Esther, were able to attend the College of Commerce & Business in Stockton, CA. This enabled Lorene, who had been on the Lodi High School typing team to perfect her clerical skills. (yes, there was a typing team that went to actual competition with other high school in the 1930’s.) The boom of the vineyards gave her an education in office techniques to be a secretary at: The Bank of America, Lodi, CA; Mather Field Air Corp Base, Sacramento; and Kelly Field’s Provost Office in San Antonio, Texas where her husband was stationed for the duration of WWII. The struggles continued had after THE WAR when jobs were difficult to come by for the multitude of returning soldiers. So, Lorene and Art lived with his mother until financial success with their jobs allowed them to move to a “drafty little house” on Locust Tree Road, only a mile from where Lorene had been born. Later diligent hard work allowed them to buy and build on river frontage land in Acampo where they raised wine grapes and beef cattle. Growing up in a century that began with a Pandemic, Prohibition that took the family’s livelihood, the Great Depression and WWII did not abound with beauty, but I chose to tell moments where Lorene was able to find loveliness in the simple wildflower that grew in the vineyard and fields. As a child they would make Easter “nests” out of grasses and she lined hers with flowers. I will not delay with the accounts of successes and dismal failure of flower arrangements at Lodi Grape Festival, but I can tell you she later received her accreditation as a National Master Flower Show Judge. Then Lorene judged that same Festival she had formerly struggled to compete in. She was then proud judge at the SF Flower show, CA State Fair, Sacramento Camelia Show, and many other shows statewide for 50 years. Still, she was humble enough to teach her granddaughters 4-H group horticulture in her early 90’s. When you live over a hundred years, there are plentiful celebrations and numerous memorials, Lorene had her share of course. The first birth in her life was her sister, Esther Nies Nickel, who is now 100 and still resides in Lodi. In 1959, she adopted me, her daughter, Sandra Jane Hoffman Stockar and in the years to come, welcomed the birth of granddaughters: Patricia Marie Stockar Morris and Lydia A. Stockar. She welcomed the births of her only nephew, Steven K. Nickel (Laura), and nieces Elda Rodel Gilbeau, Kathy Nies Powers, Shelley Lorene Nies Ross (Bob), and Elizabeth Nies Stein. as well their children. As with these joys came the sorrow of laying to rest her parents, Jacob Nies & Marie Lachenmaier Nies. It was heartbreaking to see the passing of her older sister Lillian Nies Hinrichs and brother Marvin Nies (Rene) and also niece Joyce Nickel Roster (John). Almost beyond enduring was the passing of her husband Arthur J. Hoffman after 64 years of marriage, and, finally, her son-in-law for 38 years, Patrick F. Stockar. Lorene had spent a lifetime full of loving these people but now that time had concluded. Past were her days of teaching Salem United Methodist Church Sunday School, Girl Scouts, 4-H, or Job’s Daughter. So, Lorene was then taken up with the Lodi Historical Society, SJ Historical Society & Museum, Woodbridge Gold & Country Club 49’ers and Lodi Antique Club. If there were any spare moments, she would just pull into the nearest garage sale. (Yes she drove until she was 98! I know!) It would remind her of all the yard sales she had with her sister Esther, not for profit because the days of struggles were over, but for the sheer fun of it. Lorene was born on Saturday, July 6, 1918, which is only 53 years after the Civil War ended and two years before women in the US could vote. When she was married, she became Mrs. Arthur Hoffman, because her spouse’s name and recognition were more important than her own in the 1930’s world. She had lived through a world had uniformed soldiers “of color” move to the back of the train or bus during WWII and bathrooms were labeled by skin tone in many states she traveled; but, 66 years later she saw Barack Obama elected president. When technology took over, she learned to email in her 80’s and a before she left us in her sleep on Sunday, January 17, 2021 she owned an iPhone X to Facetime her family and sometimes accidently post oddities on Facebook. She leaves the world as it was when she came into it, troubled with itself and if not progressing, certainly always evolving, ever changing. Maybe Lorene lived in a hard world, but she grew it into a beautiful place. She leaves us, too, in a world difficult, fractured world and held by a thin thread, but we also can find joy in it. It did not stop her from living her life each and every minute to the fullest. She once told me, then told me, then told me 100 more times, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And then next time doing even better.” Lorene built a life striving for perfection, in her work skills, in her artistic endeavors, in her golf game & in her lemon pies. Struggles in the beginning, but yet it was always getting better, moving forward and finding the perfection in the small things. These were the select moments out of millions and the message I was trying to share with you from her life. I am beyond summary now and with no time to relay the final years of independent senior apartments where she made friends in CA and TX and I was told “never met a stranger” while making countless new and yet important friends. If you were part of her life, even in the smallest way, I think… I think she would want to thank you for being who you were and where you were in her life. The small moments mattered in a big way. Of her millions of moments and memories, she would want simply to be remembered as part of bettering your life in some way. Please remember her if you like by donations to her favorite charity, The Shriner’s Children’s hospital, or a charity you love. --Her loving, only child, Sandra
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Thursday, January 21, 2021

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

White's Funeral Home -Azle

105 Denver Trail, Azle, TX 76020

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