Jerry passed suddenly on June 6th after a short illness from neuroendocrine carcinoma. He was only ill for three weeks and passed at Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe with his family tenderly caring for him and sharing memories until the very end.
Jerry was born to Harris (“Blackie”) and Marilyn (Stroup) Hofer on February 13, 1952. He was born in Pierre, South Dakota and raised in Fort Pierre, South Dakota. He graduated from the Fort Pierre Schools in 1970 where he participated in basketball and track. He was very proud of the relay team that he was on that placed first in State.
Jerry married Sharyl (Gottschalk) on November 8, 1988. They often laughed about fitting their small wedding at the Oahe Presbyterian Church around their nephew’s high school football playoff game! To this union a son, Dacotah Hofer, was born who joined his big brother, Chad Myers, from a previous marriage to Deb (Barnes) Myers. Jerry was blessed with five grandchildren who brought such joy to his life. He loved being “Papa” to Zoey, Brinley, Witten, Landry and Lilly.
Jerry lived and worked in Utah, Florida, North Dakota, South Dakota, Guam and New Mexico – and had stories about each place.
The outdoors brought Jerry a lot of enjoyment and peace. He raised sheep and goats for several years in the Dakotas. Jerry was part of a Coop that sold milk from the 100+ goats that he milked. He loved to trap, hunt, fish, and ride his 4-wheeler. Time riding in Rendija Canyon, whether it was alone, with friends, or with his son, always gave him such pleasure. No matter where he lived, Jerry always made one special friend. Moving to Los Alamos, his circle of friends expanded. He always said that moving to Los Alamos was the best – due to weather, activities, and friends. To top it off, was the fact that his granddaughters lived just a mile down the road from him.
Family was the greatest joy for Jerry. He often complained about having to drive Sharyl around in that huge RV, but he loved where it took him. Glamping in Colorado with Sharyl’s family, in South Dakota with his family, in Texas one winter, in Arizona just last year. The family has made so many memories in that RV, which will be held in the hearts of all who loved him. Jerry could tell some great stories about all of his campfire adventures. For the past ten years, Jerry and Sharyl traveled various places with Zoey and Brinley – visiting family, friends, and zoos!
Survivors include his wife Sharyl Hofer, his sons Chad (Alyson) Myers of Rapid City, SD and Dacotah Hofer (Melanie) of Los Alamos, NM; his sister Jody (Cody) Williams of Pierre, SD; his cousin who was like a brother Randy (Linda) Stroup; his cousin Scotty Stroup; and his sisters-in-law Gail Gulsvig of Colorado Springs, CO and Francie (Cork) Hill of Nampa, Idaho.
He leaves behind several cousins, nieces, nephew as well as several great and great-great nieces/nephews. All are very special to him; however, none as special as his niece Sage Briggs and her husband Harry.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents (Blackie and Marilyn Hofer), his mother and father-in-law (Meva and Frosty Gottschalk) and his great-nephew (Dalton Williams).
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Hofer Residence on June 22 from 3 to 7 PM, with a second one being held in Fort Pierre in the near future.
Jerry had recently picked two charities that he wanted to donate to – St. Jude’s and Wounded Warrier’s. In lieu of flowers, please consider these charities as a memorial. However, the best memorial is to remember Jerry with love and laughter, love your family, and live your life to the fullest.
Lastly, a special thank you goes out to the doctors and nurses at Los Alamos Medical Center and Christus St. Vincent Hospital and the Los Alamos Fire Department EMS team that transported Jerry. Each and every person involved was so caring and compassionate. They truly were his angels.