Fred Owen Hoff was born on June 21, 1925, to Fred and Laila Hoff on their farm near Hillhead, South Dakota (Victor Township, Marshall County) and was baptized at Trondhjem Lutheran Church in Britton, South Dakota. He and his family moved several times during his childhood, eventually returning to Sacred Heart, Minnesota, where he graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 1943. Fred served with the 349th Infantry in post-war Italy. Following his discharge from the Army, he attended the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College, and, after meeting Gertrude (Gert) Dale, transferred to and graduated from Luther College in 1951. Gert and Fred were married at Big Bend Lutheran Church on June 9, 1951. During the next decade, they and their children lived in Elbow Lake, Benson, Montevideo, Marshall and Fairmont before moving to Minneapolis in 1962, when Fred joined Augsburg Publishing House (now Augsburg Fortress Press). Throughout his life and in every endeavor, Fred gave generously of his time, talents and treasures.
From an early age, Fred put to good use for his family and many others his love of building and remodeling, eventually founding Hoff Construction Company. To accomplish his many projects, he engaged the services of his father (who started it all), brothers, son, many in-laws, nephews, good friends, and others who became his friends. While giving the younger members of this large group the opportunity to work hard and earn money, he taught them skills as a mentor and educator. (“Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”)
Fred was an active member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, where he served as president of the congregation and, throughout the years, gave his skills, time, and equipment to maintain or upgrade the church. These and other building projects were his joy, not only because they contributed to the well-being of others, but because he also built strong and lasting friendships in the process.
After 32 years, Fred retired from Augsburg. Retirement provided Fred and Gert the opportunity to spend many winters in Sun City West, Arizona, with good friends and family members from around the country. Fred and Gert enjoyed 53 years of marriage, until Gert passed away unexpectedly in 2004.
Fred died peacefully on December 26th at the age 88. In addition to his beloved wife and parents, Fred is preceded in death by siblings Elaine Slater, Corrine Hanson, Theodore (Ted, Toby), Jerome, and David. Survivors include his children Craig (Kathleen), Laurel (Steve Schletty) and Julie (Chuck Ragan); his grandchildren Kristin, Anders, Jorgen and Gretchen Hoff; Peter Schletty (Amber), Megan Schletty, Chelsea Dupre (Brandon Benson), and Charles Dupre; his sisters Ruth Kahn (Louis) and Eyvonne Langehough (Joe Boris); and his sisters-in-law Mary Hoff and Darla Hoff.Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday January 4th at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date.
Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com