Walter W. Hofmann, 89, of Machias, a longtime resident of Springville and Machias, passed away in Springville on January 21, 2018.
Walter was born in Springville on Aug. 6, 1928 to the late Karl and Frieda (nee Kuebler) Hofmann. He graduated from high school at the age of 14, attended Houghton College and returned to Springville to join the family farm business.
Walter moved to Machias in 1980 and became known for his produce stand and regular participation at several local farmers’ markets. An “institution” at the East Aurora Farmers’ Market, his customers came to expect his “thought of the day” always displayed on an easel standing beside his produce. Throughout his life, he enjoyed a good joke, limerick or “play on words.” He put together a collection of his favorite witticisms and published a book at the age of 86. The books would often be on display at the farmers’ markets and his customers sought out their copies as readily as they looked for his sweet corn.
A piano student at a very early age, Walter frequently played the piano or organ at church services or casual social events. He sang with local choirs, often as a soloist and even composed music well into his 80s. Prior affiliations include East County Potato Growers Association, New York State Potato Growers Association, Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education, the Lions Club, Erie County Republican Committee and East Aurora Farmers Market Board. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Machias.
Walter is survived by his four children, Sheryl (Brian Bergin) Hofmann of Safety Harbor, Fla., Dale (Renee Ryan) Hofmann of Seattle, Wash., Laurie (late Steve Zegree) Hofmann of Santa Fe. N.M. and Ellen (Sid Kitchings) Hofmann of Bend, Ore.; grandchildren Kevin Harkey, Craig Harkey and Wolfgang Hofmann; brother Frederick (Joann) Hofmann and nephews Karl (Becky), David (Tim) and Daniel Hofmann.
Friends may call Friday, Jan. 26, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, 271 E. Main St., Springville, where funeral services will be held Saturday morning, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Maplewood Cemetery, Springville.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the East Aurora Farmers’ Market, P.O. Box 953, East Aurora, N.Y. 14052, for their 40th Anniversary Celebration to be held later in the year, where Walter will be among those honored.