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Mary Jane Hoffman, nee Plyme, died on December 9, 2018, at Wesley Manor in Frankfort, Indiana where she had been a resident since 2010. Jane, as she was called, was born in Lafayette, Indiana, on June 24, 1926, to Charles and Anita Plyme of Stockwell, Indiana. After graduating from a high school class of 13 students, Jane attended Purdue University and was graduated with high honors as a distinguished student in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English education (Her only “B” was earned in a required swimming class.). She met her husband, Herbert, at Purdue, and they were married in Stockwell on June 5, 1949. As Herb was also a teacher as well as coach and school administrator, they moved to various cities in Indiana where they raised five children and educated thousands more. Mrs. Hoffman was one of those English teachers who always “had your number.” With eyes in the back of her head and with Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style firmly in mind, she taught English literature, American literature, grammar, composition, and speech. She returned to Purdue during the summers of 1961-2 to pursue a Master of Arts degree in library science which proved to be essential in her quest to instill a love of reading in her children and grandchildren. As an educated woman who lived through the Great Depression and World War II, Jane advocated for all women to be fulfilled, independent, equal, and respected human beings.
Jane and Herb were life-long members of the United Methodist Church, and they lived their faith every day. Her life as a Christian could be summed up with this John Wesley quotation. “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” Her resolute and unwavering belief in the dignity and worth of all peoples regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation sometimes collided with conservative thinking in small town Indiana, but she persevered in her beliefs. The Reverends Paul Temple, Don Ashley, Gary Forbes, David Byrum, and Jake Fischer were her most cherished spiritual leaders in the United Methodist Church during her lifetime. As Christians following the example of Jesus, Jane and Herb lived a life of service in retirement. They volunteered at Meals on Wheels, the Open Door Clinic, and assistance for residents at Wesley Manor.
As well, Herb and Jane were long-standing Purdue Boilermaker fans and Chicago Cubs fans. They requested a fiftieth wedding anniversary gathering at a Chicago Cubs game to celebrate their blessings of family and their shared love of baseball and all sports. Herb and Jane are survived by their beloved children, Brian Hoffman (Louisa), Diane German (Charley), Brent Hoffman (Kathy), Brad Hoffman (Linda), and Deidre Moore (Miles), as well as eight grandchildren, Katrin (Ryan), Joe, Jake, Clark (Gabriella), Alex, Jeff, Julia, Zoe, and two great grandchildren, Avery and Elias.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2018, at St. Matthew United Methodist Church from 10:00 a.m. to the start of the celebration of life service at 12:00 p.m. Revs. David Byrum and Philip Lake will officiate. A nine-bell peal will ring to celebrate Mary Jane’s altruistic life, her steadfast commitment to Christian values, and her love of family. Burial will be held at Johnson Cemetery in Stockwell, Indiana. Memorials in Jane’s name may be made to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). Arrangements are entrusted to Genda Funeral Home in Frankfort, with online condolences directed to www.gendafuneralhome.com.