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Charles Andrew Hoffman “Charlie”
May 17, 1941-January 25, 2024
Charlie died peacefully on January 25 at St. John’s Nursing Home in Rochester.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Margaret (Dee) DeLaney Hoffman; his daughter Elizabeth DeLaney Hoffman (Douglas Carlson) of Athens, GA; and his brother Pastor Robert J. Hoffman (Colleen) of Fort Myers, FL.
Charlie was predeceased by his daughter Margaret (Meg) Hoffman of Rochester; his sister Maria Hoffman Clavelli of Oswego, NY; his parents Florence Riley Hoffman and Henry C. Hoffman of Auburn, NY.
Charlie leaves behind beloved family including nieces and nephews: Lynn Hoffman (Mike Yoder) of Bedminster, NJ; Michelle Hoffman (Steve Roberts) of Charlotte, NC; Sarah Ray (Keith) of Milwaukee, WI; Matthew Hoffman (Lisa Rubin) of Chicago, IL; Maur DeLaney of Rochester, NY; a great-niece: Elizabeth Ray of Milwaukee, WI; two great-nephews: Aidan Davidson of Rochester, NY; Charlie Ray of Milwaukee, WI; two goddaughters: Kate Hallinen Newman of Honeoye Falls, NY; Katie Cooney Lesko of Albany, NY; a sister-in-law: Mary Jo DeLaney of Williamsville, NY; plus cousins and friends from all over the country.
He attended SUNY Cortland and received a degree in Recreational Therapy. He always kept strong ties to that program, attending annual conferences for years.
An even more important connection from Cortland came in the form of his uncle, Bobby Riley. Bobby was Florence’s youngest brother and he suffered from cerebral palsy and seizures. After his parents died, Bobby lived with his oldest sister, Louise O’Connor in a big house near the college. Charlie moved in with them while he was in school and helped Louise care for Bobby. They grew very close and Bobby came to depend on “Charles” as he called him. Until Bobby died in 2004, Charlie was his caretaker, guardian, and champion.
After college, Charlie began working as an Activities Therapist in the Department of Psychiatry at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester (now URMC: University of Rochester Medical Center). This was the start of a career at the U of R that lasted over 30 years.
Charlie left Strong briefly to do important work at the Al Sigl Center in Rochester where he worked with children and adults with disabilities. It was clear that his relationship with his uncle Bobby led him down that path, and he loved it there.
He eventually returned to Psychiatry and Activities Therapy at Strong. He also worked in an Outpatient Clinic, Purchasing, and lastly, the University’s Copy Center. A minor heart attack in 2007 forced him to retire, otherwise he’d still be there. One of Charlie’s lifelong dreams was fulfilled at Strong when he was made Assistant Chief of the Medical Center’s Fire Brigade. There were many moments of ringing alarms, gearing up, racing through the halls, and then deftly removing aluminum foil from smoking microwave ovens.
Charlie’s wife, Dee, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House Charities on Westmoreland Avenue in Rochester and got him interested in joining her. This was one of the best decisions they made. They spent years working for RMHC as volunteers and overnight managers at the big house on Westmoreland, meeting so many families, helping them get through the roughest periods of their lives. Charlie was the fix-it guy on site, helping to keep things running. He was also a driver, taking family members back and forth to appointments at Strong. He would also join Dee at the Golisano Children’s Hospital Coffee Hour. This was a time to help family members grab a cup of coffee and a pastry, and listen to them recount the triumphs and tragedies their children were going through. He loved his time at RMHC.
Two pastimes Charlie enjoyed were watching the LPGA tournament at Locust Hill and camping with his family at Letchworth State Park. Charlie, Meg, and his dad Henry loved golf and attended the LPGA events as often as they could. After Henry died in 1994, Charlie and Meg and several of her friends would gather in the gallery, cheering on their favorite golfers. He loved it. Charlie would take his family camping in Letchworth for two weeks every summer, rain or shine. He was an excellent camper, always prepared for anything from invasive raccoons to his daughters’ crazy escapades like riding a 10-speed bike down the gorge or playing hide-and-seek in the dark. He loved the company of family and old friends, building a perfect fire, and telling the stories again and again.
Dee and Elizabeth would like to thank the staff at St. John’s Nursing Home for the care they gave Charlie in his last few months. We are grateful for the kindness and skill shown by the nurses, doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, social workers, and CNAs.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Ronald McDonald House Charities in his name: DONATE
A Memorial Service for Charlie will be held at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. in the spring at a date to be determined.