Leo Hoffner, 90, of Esmond, ND, passed away Sunday, September 11, 2022 at his home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30AM Monday, September 19, 2022 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Esmond, ND with Fr. Steven Wirth celebrating and Fr. Bernard Pfau concelebrant. Visitation will take place Sunday, September 18, 2022 at St. Boniface Catholic Church from 5:00PM to 7:00PM with Rosary beginning at 7:00PM and Vigil Service to follow. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at the St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Esmond, ND. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Arlene L. Hoffner: P.O. Box 66 Esmond, ND 58332. Online condolences may be left at www.thenelsonfuneralhome.com. The Nelson Funeral Home of Maddock is in charge of the arrangements.
Leo was born October 18, 1931 to George and Elizabeth (Pfau) Hoffner in Esmond, ND. He was raised and educated in Esmond, graduating from Esmond High School with the class of 1949. Leo was active in football during high school and lettered for two years while playing six man football. After high school Leo worked assembling government steel bins in the Anamoose/Turtle Lake area and later clearing muck from tunnels on the Garrison Dam project. He also helped his parents during the harvest which included shocking bundles and thrashing. Leo was kept out of military service due to the fact that his older brothers were already enlisted and he was to help on the farm. His mother was so impressed with his work ethic, she labeled him as her “hardest working child” and sold him the farm.
Leo was united in marriage to Arlene Brown on July 17, 1951 at the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Esmond. Leo and Arlene moved in with his parents, for a short time, while Leo’s parents’ new house was being built. The couple built their own home on the family farm and together raised six children: Gregory, Bernadette, Terence, Michael, Jerald and Todd.
Leo was an agricultural pioneer, being the first farmer in Benson County to tap into aquifer irrigation on his land in 1977. The Arnold family rents the farm land currently and the irrigation is still going strong. Leo was a hardworking man and was very proud of his farming operation. He retired from farming in 2009 but continued to help his son, Michael, with his farming operation. He was a member and past president of the Esmond school board, where he was instrumental in the coop with Maddock for the basketball and football programs. Leo was also a past member of the Knights of Columbus and the Esmond Golden Age.
Leo loved sports, especially football and basketball. He attended all his children’s various sporting activities and enjoyed traveling all over the state to watch his grandchildren compete in sports as well. Leo enjoyed journaling his daily activities and also doing jigsaw puzzles and word searches. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Leo is survived by his wife of 71 years, Arlene; children, Bernadette (Vern) Roller of Bismarck, ND, Terence (Tracy) Hoffner of Algona, WA, Jerald (Karla) Hoffner of Fargo, ND and Todd (Melodee) Hoffner of Madison Lake, MN; 15 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren; daughters-in-law, Karen Hoffner and Lorna Hoffner; siblings, Jack (Gerry) Hoffner of Yankton, SD, Adrian (Elvina) Hoffner of Arizona City, AZ, Patty (Richard) Heisler of Devils Lake, ND and Dorothy Toso of Bothell, WA; numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Elizabeth Hoffner; sons, Gregory and Michael Hoffner; granddaughters, Nicole Roller and Mara Hoffner; grandson, Monte Hoffner; siblings, Irene (Einar) Dalstad, Rose (Jake) Schwab, Sebastian (Pat) Hoffner, Cecelia Allen, Eddy (Eileen) Hoffner, Margie Halvorson, Anita Emig and Raymond (Shirley) Hoffner; brother-in-law, Richard Toso; special furry companion, Cuddles.
Posted online on September 14, 2022
Published in Devils Lake Journal