John Alfred Hoffmeister, 68, died at home in Eau Claire on August 26, 2023.
He was born on September 28, 1954 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire to Alfred (Al) and Dorothy Hoffmeister. Al’s work with the telephone company took the family to Stanley for a few years before returning to the East Hill Neighborhood in 1963. John went to Boyd Elementary, Central Jr. High School, and Memorial High School. John played right tackle, number 72, for the infamous, undefeated 1971 Old Abe Football Team. He graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in marketing and finance. His work took him to Milwaukee and Stevens Point. He realized finance wasn’t for him when he was called in to repossess a TV from a family while the kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons. He went back to school at Chippewa Valley Technical College to become an electrician. That’s when he met the love of his life, Debra Thoms. She lived in the apartment downstairs and was also going to CVTC to become a histotechnologist. They were married on May 10, 1980 at Christ Church Cathedral in Eau Claire and spent the next 43 years building a beautiful family and life together. After living in Cuba City, Wisconsin for a year, they moved back to the East Hill in Eau Claire to start a family. John got a job as a substation electrician with Northern States Power Company, which later became Xcel Energy, where he retired from in 2017. John took great pride in his work. Sunday drives consisted of driving around Western Wisconsin showing off the substations that he worked on. John and Debbie lost their first son, Nathan, at birth in 1981. They welcomed their second son, Aaron, into the world in 1982. Their third son, Ben, was born in 1984. Their fourth son, Seth, was born in 1990. They moved to their current home on the south side of Eau Claire in 1994. When John wasn’t working, he took his sons up to Sand Lake and Lake Holcombe to go fishing on the weekends. He loved watching the Packers, and his favorite shows like Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of television and movie trivia. He was a man of few vices, but would always get a scratch off ticket or two when filling up his gas tank. When he would win, he would sometimes call up his boys and say “Don’t tell your mother, but I put a couple bucks in your checking account.” (Sorry Dad, Mom knows now!) When it was “Dad’s night to cook,” he enjoyed taking his boys out to Pizza Del Re and Smith’s Country Inn.
John was a larger than life figure to his family. He was often a man of few words, but was always there for his family. He was a loving partner to his wife and the best dad his kids could ask for. He will be remembered for his integrity and work ethic. Above all, John will be remembered for his wit and charm. His humor, if sometimes inappropriate, gave those who were fortunate enough to know him stories and laughs that will stay with us forever. He will be deeply missed but we know his love will be with us forever.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Dorothy, son Nathan, and beloved dogs Chauncey and Hazel. He is survived by his wife Debra, sons Aaron (Mandy), Ben, and Seth, dog Betty, brothers Jim (Nancy) and David, and nephew Alex.
Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at Stokes, Prock & Mundt Funeral Chapel in Altoona with Father Aaron Zook officiating. Visitation will take place at the funeral home from 11:00 am until the time of the service. Inurnment will be private.