With profound sorrow, yet celebrating a life beautifully lived, we share the news of Jean M. Hoffman's peaceful passing on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, at Overlook Hospital in Summit, at the age of 95. Born in Hillside, New Jersey, Jean grew up in Union, where she was a proud graduate of Union High School. Her journey took her to Wilmington, Delaware, for her husband's career at DuPont, and for over half a century, Warren was her cherished home.
Jean's professional life was marked by her unwavering dedication and formidable work ethic from a young age. Beginning her career journey as a teenager, Jean explored various roles, including a significant position at a newspaper in Hawaii in her 20s, showcasing her adventurous spirit and resilience. Upon returning to the mainland and starting her family, she took on her role as an administrative secretary at Central Middle School in Stirling, where she was known for her strict yet fair approach with students. Her career path later led her to Bell Labs in Murray Hill, which later became known as AT&T, where she continued to exemplify professionalism and dedication.
Jean was a pillar of her community, with her commitment to her faith and service evident through her active involvement in the First Presbyterian Church. Her strong faith and resilience, shaped by living through the Depression and World War II, were the bedrock of her life. Whether leading a committee, volunteering for a fundraiser, or offering her time to various causes, Jean's drive and passion were unstoppable. Her contributions extended to the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, where she supported her daughter and volunteered her skills, and The Frippery, a thrift store in Watchung, reflecting her commitment to serve her community. Additionally, her engagement with the Watchung Garden Club reflected her love for nature and community.
Jean's zest for life extended beyond her local community. She was an avid reader with a particular fondness for history and mystery novels, and a fervent traveler who, along with her close friends, embarked on annual adventures to distant locales such as China and Africa, showcasing her independence and curiosity.
Jean's legacy of love, dedication, and adventure is carried forward by her loving family: daughters Wendy Kroon (Daniel) and Joyce Benz (Hal); granddaughters Laura Bush (Nicholas), Julie M. Kroon (Richard), and Emily C. Benz-Newton (Matthew); and her great-granddaughter, Emma. Her marriage to Warren Edward Hoffman, a journey of 64 years filled with shared dreams and challenges, ended with his passing in 2018. She was also predeceased by her five brothers.
Friends and family are invited to pay their respects on Sunday, February 4, 2024, from 2 to 4 pm at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, NJ. A private graveside service will be held, with a public memorial service to be on Saturday, February 24, at 11 am, with a lunch to follow at the First Presbyterian Church, 158 Central Ave., Stirling, NJ.
In honor of Jean's life and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 158 Central Avenue, Stirling, NJ 07980, reflecting her spirit of generosity and commitment to her faith and community.
Jean's remarkable journey through life leaves an indelible mark on all who had the pleasure of knowing her, and she will be dearly missed.