Farewell…Until we meet again.

Frank Hoffmann, 1934 – 2020

Yesterday, it was hard to say farewell to a very nice man, a distant relative and good friend Frank Hoffmann. He was always glad to hear from me and we both enjoyed our visits together.

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Frank lived on our Hoffmann ancestors homestead farm with his brother Ray. Ray passed in 2002. Both of them were very nice to me and my family and I will always cherish those memories. Connection to family on this ancestral farm gave my kids the opportunity to have experiences and a glimpse into farming life. When I was young it was one of the greatest things to spend time on my grandparent’s farm. That farm has long since been sold out of the family were nothing resembling the old days remains.

Even though he did not know it at the time, Frank helped me understand my heritage and ancestry better. Sitting near the machine shed on a beautiful late summer afternoon, listening to stories about how things were done in the past helped me to get a better understanding of why the site was developed the way it was on the farm. Learning about how things were done in the past, gave me in-site into the hardships and ways our ancestors lived as a farming family in the past.

Farming practices have changed dramatically over the years and the way our ancestors did things are almost forgotten. I have found the best way to understand the past is to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors, both here in Minnesota, and in our ancestral homelands in Europe.

It has been fun getting to know Frank over the years and I enjoyed stories about his times stationed in Europe and his great adventures to the big twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Frank and Ray had a lot of fun back in the day. Frank had a great sense of humor, especially with little things.

Last fall while feeding the dogs some treats, we sat there and talked while Frank patiently waited with his cane in hand ready to get any fly that landed in the area. He would say, “Here comes another one for his funeral”, as he landed the tip of the cane rarely missing his mark. He laughed and said, “This is pretty entertaining when you are 85, you’ll see.” I hope so.

It was very surprising he went so quickly; I wish we had one more time to visit. I had the best idea for a birthday present for Frank next month, The Original Bug-A-Salt gun, which uses regular table salt to blast flies. He would have loved it!

It is difficult to say goodbye and to close that chapter in my life. Hopefully it opens doors to friendships with other relatives who share our common heritage.

Thank you, Frank. You are missed and I will always cherish the memories of our time together.

 

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