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Harry Hoffman

January 22, 1925 - June 2, 2022

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date June 2, 2022

Funeral Home Layton Funeral Home

Obituary Viewed 938 times

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Harry Hoffman, 97, of Jupiter, Florida, died peacefully in his home on June 2, 2022.  Born in Newark, NJ to Margaret (nee Ryan) and Harry Hoffman Sr., he spent most of his life in New Jersey and his later years in both Florida and Rhode Island.  Harry loved being active and had a variety of passions including snow skiing in Vermont, sailing up and down the Atlantic coast and flying a small Cessna airplane.  He was the last surviving member of the LAICOS (“Social” spelled backwards), a group of high school buddies from their alma mater, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School.  In their early years, they built a cabin together in Sussex County, NJ where they brought their families and created a host of memories.  They remained great friends their entire lives.  Everyone who met him soon learned that he was extremely musical.  Playing many instruments by ear, he was best known for strumming a banjo while belting out tunes from yesteryear.  His ability to sing in many octaves as well as create harmonies by ear made him invaluable during family holiday reunions.

It was on his 18th birthday during World War II that Harry enlisted in the US Marine Corps.  Though quite young, he was nonetheless selected to work in intelligence intercepting Japanese code in the South Pacific islands of Tinian and Saipan where he earned a Purple Heart.  As a result of his wartime experiences, he became a student of history and maintained a lifelong interest in the Second World War, collecting and reading hundreds of books on the topic.

On his return from the war, Harry attended Seton Hall University and went to work in Belleville at the family business, Hoffman Rigging and Crane Service.  He eventually assumed ownership of the company and under his leadership it grew from a local trucking and rigging company to a nationally renowned rigging powerhouse.  Hoffman was now recognized for its ability to perform the most complex rigging and specialized transportation of heavy machinery, reactors, and power generating equipment.  As the world and industry evolved, Harry led Hoffman Rigging’s evolution into Hoffman International, a distributor of construction and lifting equipment.  The company remains active today, headquartered in Piscataway, NJ where job site photos of Harry from the company’s early days still adorn the walls, proof of his success in the business world and his legacy as a leader in the industry.

In 1983, Harry was elected as Mayor of Far Hills, NJ.  A highlight of his tenure was in 1984 when the Summer Olympic torch ran through his borough on its way from New York to Los Angeles.  Spending a good part of his retirement days reading the New York Times from cover to cover, Harry was unusually well versed in world affairs which he loved to discuss even in his last days.

Harry was preceded in death by wives, Frances (nee Springfield) Hoffman and Josephine (nee Grier) Hoffman; former wife, Florence (nee Banas) Hoffman and longtime companion, Marcia Torrey.  His sisters, Margaret McGuigan of Harrison, NJ, Ann Demartin of Manahawkin, NJ and stepson, Tony Gaas of Mill Valley, CA preceded him as well.

He is survived by daughters, Suzanne Hoffman of San Francisco, CA; Tracey Hoffman of Hilton Head Island, SC; Joan Hitpas (Hank) of Andover, NJ; and son, Marco Hoffman of Culver City, CA.  He has eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren who span the country from New England to Southern California.  He is also survived by his sister, Mary Jane (Joseph) Watters of Tinton Falls, NJ; former spouse, Anna Maria (nee Magrini) Hoffman of Playa Vista, CA; and former longtime companion, Penny Robb of Jupiter, FL.

Among so many other traits, Harry will be long remembered for his charisma, his unique ability to take command of a room, and for his robust booming laugh.  He will be sorely missed by those left behind.

A graveside service will be held at Somerset Hills Memorial Park, 95 Mount Airy Road, Basking Ridge, NJ on Monday, June 27 at 11:00am.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Harry’s memory to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, P.O.  Box 22324, New York, NY  10087.  Arrangements are being made by Layton Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Bedminster.