MARLYN JOSEPH HOFFMAN

By: 
NLJ Staff

MARLYN JOSEPH HOFFMAN

May 8, 1937–Nov 2, 2022

Marlyn passed away at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hot Springs, S.D., from cancer.  Marlyn was born in Faith, S.D., to John and Gertrude (Moelter) Hoffmann. He attended Faith schools. His work ethic started at a young age, not in the classroom, but in the great wide open country. He loved working outside, and he loved working with animals. Marlyn agreed to break three young colts, and he could have his pick of the bunch to keep. He chose a fancy little mare that he staked out where ever there was grass and he carried water to her. Marlyn’s lifelong love of horses carries deep into the veins of his kids, grandkids and right down to his three great-grandchildren.

Marlyn enlisted in the U.S. Army right after Faith Stock Show in August 1955. Marlyn served in Korea for 18 months from 1956-1957, with the 19th Infantry Regiment — the only Front Line Regiment in the U.S. Army at that time. He was with the 2nd Battalion, in the Heavy Weapons Infantry guarding the border between North and South Korea. Marlyn was discharged in 1958.

Marlyn met Patricia Heppner at a country dance in Maurine, S.D., and they were married June 24, 1959. Three children were born to them, Cindy, Lorrie and Arlyn.  

Marlyn had a variety of work experiences from working on various ranches to the Missile Bases around Faith, the underground Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S.D., to the uranium mine in Jeffrey City, Wyo. His lifelong love for ranching took them with three young children to Gillette, Wyo., in 1968 to work for rancher/auctioneer Dick and Ena Mader. It was here that Marlyn learned the life and love of auctions — learning all the “secrets of the trade” — and he learned them well! It was also here where Marlyn fell in love with Duke, a big beautiful, golden palomino horse. When the opportunity came for Marlyn and Pat to purchase Duke, they finally agreed to, knowing it would be quite a burden as it took a whole month’s wages of $300! It took another month’s wages when Duke’s palomino brother Prince became available — two big decisions that they never regretted! 

But the biggest and best life-changing event happened when Marlyn heard the Good News, the Gospel of Christ and accepted Jesus as his savior and is promised an eternal home in Heaven forever!

After a year in Ashland, Mont., in 1974, with Pat getting stuck in the driveway numerous times taking Cindy 25 miles of gravel road to meet the bus, and Cindy riding the bus another 40 miles to high school in Broadus, something had to change — as much as Pat hates change! So that change took the family to Upton, Wyo., (and only one-quarter mile off the paved road) working for Raymond and Cynthia Saunders for 14 years.

In 1989 they moved to Lusk, Wyo. Marlyn and Arlyn ran a water pumping business, H&H Water Service, supplying drilling rigs with water during the spring, summer, and fall in western Wyoming and coming back to the ranch during the winters. Marlyn retired from the water pumping business in 2007.

Marlyn’s hobbies included: working, elk hunting trips, working, a few fishing trips, working, but his biggest hobby of all was attending a good, all-day-long auction! Oh how he loved auctions and trying to guess the value of something! He was pretty happy if he could secretly bid an item up to its value and make somebody pay what it was worth. He was especially happy if he could sell something and double his money — before he left the auction site and before he had to load it! His family joked that he needed to join Auctions Anonymous and get help for his addiction — or open a secondhand store!

In retirement, Marlyn enjoyed helping on the ranch, puttering on numerous projects, and of course attending auctions. He enjoyed his grandkids, but, oh, how his eyes sparkled when the great grandkids came to visit. He always had a bag of candy ready for them. Marlyn will always be remembered for his work ethic, sense of humor, and his fun loving ornery streak.

Marlyn is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia, son, Arlyn, daughter, Lorrie (Jake) Reed, granddaughter, Jamie (Brian) McElhaney, and step-great-grandsons, Braedon and Jaelon, all of Lusk;  granddaughter, Staci (Zane) Marty and great grandtwins, Tyan and BlazeLee Newcastle, Wyo.; grandsons, Nathan and Keith Ramirez, and great-grandson, Gabe, of the Houston, Texas area; sisters, MaryAnne Palmer and Myrna Collins of Faith, and Delores Fair of Gordon, Neb.; sister-in-law, Nance Trainer of Roosevelt, Utah; brother-in-law, Larry Heppner of Scottsbluff, Neb.; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Marlyn is preceded in death by daughter, Cindy Ramirez of Houston in January 2021; his parents; brothers, John Hoffmann Jr. and Earnest Hoffmann; and brothers-in-law, Glenn Palmer, Lawrence Collins, Jack Fair, Howard Heppner, and Bob Heppner.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to In Faith Ministries, 410 N 6th St, Douglas, WY 82633; Niobrara County Senior Center, Box 928 Lusk, WY 82225; or to the donor’s choice.

Interment at Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, S.D., is on Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. Funeral services will be held at approximately 10:30 a.m. at Sturgis Veterans Club, 868 Main Street, with lunch following.

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