Memories, thoughts, prayers and stories
My friend Chuck was kind. He was protective and silly. He was a good listener and he made me laugh. We drove all around Parkville MO and listened to Van Morrison and smoked terrible cigars and played pool at that sketchy place that let in minors. I miss him so much, and I’m mad that the last time I saw him was the last time. I’d have hugged him tighter and called him more often and told him he was a great friend
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll make a friend when you are a kid.
And, he’s a great friend, supportive and funny and caring. Not like your female friends, a different sort of closeness.
But, not like a brother, because he’s DEFINITELY very good looking.
And you’ll get to be friends with that great guy for thirty years. From a 14 year old girl to a 44 year old adult, you’ll have this friend and you’ll share in each other’s families, and you’ll grow older together. But you’ll still have a great time talking about when you were young.
You shouldn’t have to lose that friend, right after his 44th birthday. You shouldn’t have to help his wife deal with a long hospital stay that doesn’t end with him getting to go home. It should not be possible that the person who still looks just like his senior photo, in your head at least, that he could be gone.
I have loved my friendship with Chuck Hoffmann. I have cherished him, and I have made Chuck and his wife Ginger my chosen family. And today we are in misery, because he is gone
We (Chuck's Mom, Dad and brother) greatly appreciate the wonderful stories and expressions of friendship you are all posting about him. As parents, we are not always aware of friendships, co-workers and activities outside of the family realm.
We grieve with Ginger, her children, their significant others, Chuck's brother and his family, uncles, great aunts, cousins and nieces and nephews.
As a child and teen our boy was ever smiling, active and caring. As an adult he is always concerned and considerate for his family. Even during his last days in the hospital, he encouraged us to care for ourselves by sending Ginger home for rest, by indicating that his 72 year old Dad should sit instead of stand by his bedside, by squeezing our hands and patting them, by writing us notes telling us he loves us and by being cheerful with the hospital staff in spite of his condition.
Growing up he was our adventurer - climbing playground equipment (with Mom underneath holding out her hands in case he fell), popping wheelies on his bike and skateboard, riding his bike to the neighborhood making friends. He was a star pitcher, catcher, shortstop and third baseman in little league and loved watching movies (which he was still doing in the hospital!).
In grade school and high school, he was an honor student. At Park Hill HS he participated in track (shot put), marching band (alto sax) and of course Park Hill's yell team and Pro Cheer yell leading where he won multiple awards with his cheer partners and team members. In the flood of 1993 he helped sandbag English Landing.
He attended the University of Nebraska - Lincoln for 2 years, graduated from KU - Lawrence and cheered at both universities. He graduated with a degree in Economics and later learned to be a computer programmer.
I always thought of Chuck as the "cool" cousin, and always felt "cool" myself when I got to hang out with him. Yet even though he was what I considered "cool" he was always so kind and humble, and I don't think I ever saw him without a smile on his face! One of my fondest memories of him was when he was in KC from college over the Thanksgiving holiday with a friend of his from college in tow. He came to my parents' house in St. Joseph for Thanksgiving dinner, and then his friend and he started talking about driving down to the AMC on Barry Road to watch a movie. I was elated when he offered to take me as well, because then I felt like one of the cool kids, especially hanging out with two college kids when I was still only in high school. I don't even recall what the movie was that we saw, but that specific memory just reiterates what a kind, genuine person Chuck always was.
My heart is just broken, and I hate to say I can strongly empathize with our entire family for the sudden loss of an amazing human being, my cousin Chuck. I remember all of the family gatherings as kids, especially when we moved to St. Joseph when I was in 6th grade, and you lived in KC. I remember one Thanksgiving where you were back from college and came to my parents’ to celebrate with all of us, and then I got to be one of the kids to ride down with my cool cousin to the AMC on Barry road to watch a movie! At least I know you’re at peace with Chris Moyers now, and I’m sure you both are laughing it up and being goofy with that cheesy Hoffmann sense of humor
I don't have a specific story about Chuck, but will say every time he came to a family event, it was a delight. He always greeted me with Hi Aunt Jean, in such a nice way and smile, so genuine, I will never forget that.
My boys all remember him as happy, smiling, making jokes and they really enjoyed him. Jake said Chuck may have been the easiest person to talk to that he's ever met.
Chuck was bigger than the life he lived, and may never have known that, so humble and undemanding.
Chuck Hoffman was one of the best humans I’ve had the pleasure of working with in my time at Intouch. He had this uncanny ability to build camaraderie with coworkers and did so effortlessly and easily. He had an amazing capacity to bring levity to just about any situation. Those are just a few of many endearing qualities Chuck had. Our industry can prove to be stressful… complaining can be… easy? Even so, Chuck never hesitated to do everything in his power to solve and bring solutions, to what could often be chaotic and stressful situations. I truly felt Chuck was on my team, (even though we were in separate departments), and recall many a late night, or early morning – where Chuck would make himself available to help solve whatever the latest fire drill was. Chuck also taught me things along the way. He was so patient in that regard. I loved that he never watered down a single thing down for me, and I credit him with making me a better Account person - as I can now confidently speak to the technical side of our work – in a way I know would not have been possible without a developer and team member like him. Chuck taught me so much about how to be a team player, how to keep calm in times of stress, and how to always remember that at the end of the day, your loved ones and life outside of your work, your “peace” so to speak– was what really mattered and should be protected.
I had many conversations with Chuck during 2020 – as we all adjusted to a new normal of life during the pandemic. He consistently commended his wife Ginger and her amazing efforts and relentlessness with taking care of her patients in the ICU, despite the risks of contracting Covid and the many unknowns of being a front line worker. It was clear that her presence in his life inspired him to bring that same energy and commitment to his own work. I’ll really miss shooting the breeze with my friend Chuck, but I take peace in knowing he is no longer in pain – and know that the impact he left on so many wont soon be forgotten. Rest well Chuck.
I love you Charlie Alexander!
Chuck was always one of the happiest and hard working co-workers. No matter what the challenge, I know he would throw on the headphones, turn on west Wing on his computer and he could solve the problem. Even when frustrated, he had a smile and said ”Yeh, I can get it done”,
Always a joke and a laugh during our conversations, he's going to be missed by many.
I remember Chuck and Drake interacting when we got together - seems like he was also able to get a grin from Drake with silly little jokes. One time several years ago Chuck was eating with us, and he asked Drake if he would like some 'nah-kel' for his food - NaCL - Sodium Chloride - table salt. Drake was just learning about chemical compounds / symbols at school at the time - it took him a moment, but then he got it and it gave him a big smile. Just a few weeks ago - Drake used the same reference himself (I wonder if he remembers where he first heard it)...
From 30+ year old memories from my childhood..
I remember him being a happy kid in general - except those times when his older brother tended to tease/pick on him a bit..
I remember him always having a VERY messy/disorganized room as a child - which was not helped by my 'donating' toys I did not want any more... I remember a few times when 'cleaning' my room meant dumping some stuff into his room/closet! (In general he seemed happy to get more toys though)
I remember the afternoon when he broke his arm on (tree?) swing next door at our house in Ruskin - my Dad having to take him to get fixed up - I think I was left at home while they went to the doctor.
I have memories of going to the lake and swimming with him and Mom, playing in the sand for hours, getting super sunburnt... then for days after having lots of fun peeling chunks of skin off as it healed...
I remember our house in Ruskin, playing in the front and backyard, digging in the sandbox - burying cars/G.I Joe toys with him. Filling it up with water and making 'ponds' / moats.
I remember playing catch with him in the house while Mom was crocheting - things got a little out of control and the ball hit her hand and the needle got stuck in her hand - she had to drive to the clinic with it sticking out ! (Sorry Mom!)
I remember different 4th of July celebrations with him - in KC and at both grandparents in STL - playing with firecrackers, bottle rockets, snakes, and listening to the cicadas in the evening.
I remember various Christmases in STL - where we stayed at the grandparents' houses, having a hard time falling asleep, waking up early and inspecting the presents, and the opening frenzies..
As older children - me in junior high/then high school - we seemed to have less in common - not being in the same schools/same friends..
Still, I remember being at home with him in the afternoons after school was out...
I remember one 'fun' thing to do/competition when he was older was jumping up in the living room trying to touch fan cords on the ceiling fans - tough for either of us..... At that point he was still shorter than me, but catching up fast!
After high school / college - as an adult - we both were busy with our respective lives on opposite sides of the state...
I so glad to see how happy he was when he and Ginger got married - that was a great day to witness
Unfortunately I did not get to see him often.. but when I did - he always had his big signature grin, a great sense of humor; always seemed to like to see everyone happy..
From what I have witnessed and have heard from others - it seems he cared deeply about his work, loved his family, lived with joy and passion and a had great compassion for others.
I hope he enjoyed as many moments as possible and was fulfilled and happy.
I will forever and always miss my brother - and wish that I had seen more of his life.
It's like proving a negative is impossible, right? Pretend with me you are a lanky kid in high school where being threatened with physical violence subtly is kinda the jam. You learn to avoid those people. You let them talk down to you so you can avoid getting thrashed. You walk away. You turn the other cheek not because you want to, but because it is safe. There were easily 30 of those guys in my high school. Maybe 50 of those shit bird asshats. And I hope they are decent enough people now but they made me fear for getting on their bad side for the first two years of high school. Then there was Chuck Hoffmann. He was huge compared to me. I remember expecting the same threat of violence in his every sentence.
But that was the thing about Chuck. He wasn't like people like me who were still trying to figure out where we fit. He was sweet and kind and physically huge but gentle and hilarious. He was enlightened at 16 in a way that I'm not honestly able to admit I am today. He knew himself and he knew the world. And he lived in it in a way that was so organic that I am still jealous to this day.
I may never write a big thing for every friend I ever knew who died. But I find the most words for the people I left the most unsaid to. Chuck wasn't someone I knew deeply or someone I can pretend was my closest confidant. He was just a friend. And he was someone I could be hard pressed to hope my son grows up to be like. He was one of the best men I didn't spend enough time to get to know. And now I never will.
Marie: At the gathering at Chuck's house, I think you mentioned that he and you had traveled a lot together. I'd love to hear more about the places you visited and things you saw if you can share.
Chris - U betMarie: So what year(s) did you and Chuck travel together?
Chris- Would have been his 2 years at Nebraska 96-97
Marie: Ahh. Was it just the two of you traveling?
Chris- Most of the time
Marie: ok... did you guys have a specific purpose for each place you went - why were you traveling in other words.... Thanks for helping me with this, it is just something that will help me feel closer to him now that I can't ask him directly.
Chris - I will talk about Chuck as much as you want. You raised one heck of a great person. Most of the trips were for friends. But we did have one where we were just crazy for doing it but we did it. So the NU cheerleaders were going to Nationals, and Chuck had elected not to do nationals that year. So the time came for Nationals, and they wanted to take the practice mats down to Orlando...some how Chuck and I volunteered to drive the mats down in a Uhaul...you heard that right, so it was 32 hours to Orlando in a Uhaul that barely went 60 mph...lol
Marie - Now that you said that, I think I remember him talking about that particular one. Thanks for reminding me. When you say 'most of the trips were just for friends', did you mean that you two were visiting friends or what?
Chris - Yep, we went to a wedding in Beaumont Texas.
Chris - We also visited friends in Baton Rouge. And most of these trips turned into other trips, because we figured we were close, or at least in the vicinity
Marie: I bet those were good times - at least I hope so.
Chris - The Very Best!!!
Marie: I can see why Chuck liked to hang out with you - you are a kind soul. Thanks for your assumption that we were responsible for Chuck being 'one heck of a great person'. We think we got pretty lucky with both Chuck and his big (as in older not in size) brother Erik. We feel they are better people than we are. Did you two ever go out of the country together?
Chris - You both should be Very Proud. Chuck is one of the Best People I have ever met. We never went out of the country together, but we did go to Bourban Street once...that was interesting...lol
“Love, in all its forms, is the most powerful weapon we have. Because love is a form of hope. And like hope, love abides. In the face of everything”
“NEVER BE CRUEL. NEVER BE COWARDLY. REMEMBER, HATE IS ALWAYS FOOLISH AND LOVE IS ALWAYS WISE. ALWAYS TRY TO BE NICE, BUT NEVER FAIL TO BE KIND.”
The best memories of Chuck for me were his big smile & hearty laugh. He had such a great sense of humor, and I always enjoyed joking around with him at family gatherings. He lived life to the fullest and is so missed by many. A funny story I will always remember is when we were talking about our dog Baxter one Thanksgiving, and Chuck misheard his name and said, "Bastard! What a great name for a dog!" It might have been a better name for the dog since he ate a hole in our couch a month after we got him. I still laugh when I think about what Chuck said.
Chuck was such a kind man, too, was so supportive of us when we were struggling with our son, his cousin Chris, being critically ill in the ICU for a month before passing away in November 2019. Chuck visited often and came to be with us the day Chris passed. Chuck was a bright spot in a horrible time in our lives. Seeing Chuck get sick so quickly brought back those memories, and we know how difficult it is for his family. We heard how thoughtful and concerned he was for the comfort of his family who were with him at the hospital. That is so Chuck.
We have learned over the past 2 1/2 years to fill the hole in our hearts with the good memories we have of our son, and now Chuck. I am sure they are laughing together in heaven, entertaining all the relatives there.
I looked down and saw his face smiling up and the rest was history.
We were in band together and had a lot of marching band practice time waste since we cheered for football..
I couldn't imagine high school without Chuck…
He made everyone one feel like they mattered, he was so funny, and would’ve done anything for you.
I am so blessed to have had him for a friend.
I was not a cheerleader. I met Chuck in Spanish Class my freshman year (he was a sophomore). We became fast friends and bantered with the best of them.
Chuck was always so thoughtful and welcoming.
I'm sure Chuck and Chris are causing trouble together.
We love you and are here if you need anything at all.
I didn't get better acquainted with Chuck and family.
Prayers for peace and comfort to all.
No matter what the challenge, I know he would throw on his headphones, turn on the West Wing on his computer & he could solve the problem
Even when frustrated, he had a smile and said "Yeah, I can get it done".
Always a job and laugh during our conversations.
He's going to be missed by many.
I remember seeing him as a peer role model and loving every conversation we had. Every laugh with Chuck was a blessing to me.
He was very smart, but not conceited about it, always trying to give credit to everyone else.
In my team meeting recently multiple people commented on how patient and kind he was when training them.
He will be greatly missed.
My love and prayers are with you & your family Ginger. You have so many people who love you!
Will be here for you. Take care, dear friend. Blessings - Kathy.
All our love - John.
I'll miss him forever.
He will forever be missed and in my heart.
His is missed every day.
Our love and prayers
We love you Chuck!
Glad we had that beer.
I will miss you friend.
* First cigars
* Throwing Stars
* Bourban St.
* Mike the Tiger
And to think that was just a FEW things.
Thank you Chuck for being the friend I needed when I needed it the most.
- The day he was born
- Watching him cheer at his graduation party
- Dancing at Erik's wedding
Thank you for sharing him with me.
I will always remember how he came to the hospital several times while our Chris was there and that Chuck was there for us the day Chris passed.
He was (is) an amazing, kind, loving, handsome young man that brought joy to everyone he met.
Was on Corporate challenge - we were on the bench press team.
Teased him that we pushed the same weight even though he was so much bigger.
He was such a happy baby. His smile & laughter that was adorable as a little one become a constant of his life.
Whenever we gathered as a family I was always thrilled if he was there.
My children were much younger but Chcuk made as deep an impression on them as anyone - always smiling, so funny, terribly kind and a gift to all who knew him.
He will always be in our hearts.
We regret nto getting together for that double date sooner.
We love you and please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.
Throughout Ginger's recovery I watched Chuck care for Ginger with the most tender heart.
They showed me the most beautiful picture of true love.
His spirit will never be forgotten.
All my love.
Seeing him at family gatherings with his broad smile and joyful demeanor.
Even then, he made me feel included and clearly brought those around him much closer.
I hope I can copy just a bit of that personality myself.
We will always remember Chuck with a smile on his face and the support he gave when Chris was in the hospital.
We pray every night that since they left us too soon they watch over their families forever.
I am so sorry for your loss.
I know Chris and Chuck are foever watching over us.