Walter W Hofmann, 89, of Machias, passed away Sunday, January 21 in Springville. Visitors will be greeted at Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, 271 E. Main St., Springville on Friday, January 26 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM where funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 27 at 11 AM.
A longtime resident of Springville and Machias, Walter was born in Springville to Karl and Frieda (nee Kuebler) Hofmann on August 6, 1928. He graduated from high school at 14, attended Houghton College and returned to Springville to join the family farm business.
Moving to Machias in 1980, he became known for his produce stand and regular participation at several local farmers’ markets. An “institution” at the East Aurora Farmers’ Market, his customers came to expect his “thought of the day,” always displayed on the easel standing beside his produce. Throughout his life, Walter enjoyed a good joke, limerick or “play on words.” He put together a collection of his favorite witticisms and published a book, at the age of 86. The books would often be on display at the farmers’ markets, and his customers sought out their copies as readily as they looked for his sweet corn.
A piano student at a very early age, Walter was frequently playing the piano or organ at church services or casual social events. He sang with local choirs, often as a soloist and even composed music well into his 80s. Prior affiliations include: East County Potato Growers Association, New York State Potato Growers Association, Springville Griffith Institute Board of Education, the Lions Club, Erie County Republican Committee and East Aurora Farmers Market Board. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Machias.
Walter is survived by his four children, daughter Sheryl Hofmann (Brian Bergin) of Safety Harbor, FL, son Dale Hofmann (Renee Ryan), of Seattle, WA, daughter Laurie Hofmann (the late Steve Zegree) of Santa Fe, NM, daughter Ellen Hofmann (Sid Kitchings) of Bend, OR, grandsons Kevin Harkey, Craig Harkey and Wolfgang Hofmann, brother Frederick Hofmann (Joann), nephews Karl (Becky), David (Tim) and Daniel Hofmann.
Donations can be made to the East Aurora Farmers’ Market for their 40th Anniversary Celebration later in the year where Walter will be among those honored. Their address is PO Box 953, East Aurora 14052.
Interment will be in Maplewood Cemetery, Springville.