Pamela Marie Hoffer, 78

Nov 11, 2020

Pamela Marie Hoffer, 78, of Marion, died peacefully at home on Nov. 11, 2020, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Pamela grew up in Beaver, PA, the younger daughter of William Howard and Mae Lois Stuck. After graduating from Wilson College, she came to Boston, where she met Edward and they lived in Eastern Massachusetts for the rest of their lives, remaining as deeply in love as the day they wed. She had a full life with a wide range of interests, with three passions: the French language, sailing and her family.

First exposed to French in the 10th grade, she studied it in college and came to Cambridge to further her language studies. In 1965, armed with nothing but pluck, she took a student flight to Paris and managed to get a job at UNESCO, allowing her to immerse herself in French language and culture. After marrying Ed in 1966, she supported them by teaching French at a private girls’ school in Lowell while he finished medical school. Her studies took a hiatus while she raised their sons, but when they were older, she returned to Boston College to get first a Master’s degree and then a PhD. Shy and self-effacing by nature, she shined academically, giving papers at conferences on three continents and having her thesis published as a book. Shortly after graduating from BC, she took a position as Lecturer in French at Babson College, which she held for 15 years. A highlight of most years was a trip to France. She and Ed cycled through most of France, and finally settled on Nice as their “go-to” spot every spring.

She learned to sail on the tricky waters of the Charles River, and she and Ed owned first an Islander 30, then a 210 and then her beloved H12, Lickety Split. She was a fierce competitor on the water, always among the leaders in ladies’ and open racing, and she gave back to the Beverly Yacht Club as its longest-tenured secretary and then as Chair of the Junior Activities Committee. She passed her love of sailing on to Jed and Scott, as “that was what you did in the summer,” and both became excellent sailors.

She was a devoted mother, who saw that our sons had exposure to many activities, the best education we could provide, and taught them values. If you slighted one, she was your enemy for life, but if you helped them, she was your friend. Family always came first. Of all her accomplishments, Pamela was proudest of having raised two wonderful sons, Jed and Scott, who gave us nothing but joy.

She enjoyed music of all kinds. A pianist as a child, she had a lovely voice she used in a choral group while we lived in Wellesley. Her tastes ranged from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones to the New Bedford Symphony, to which she gave her time and energy.

A bridge player in college like most of her generation, she returned to the game after the boys were grown, and rose to be a Ruby Life Master, playing exclusively with Ed.

Even though she was a white-knuckle flyer who stayed awake on trans-ocean flights to be sure the plane did not crash, she conquered her fears and travelled the world both with Ed and as a family. Pamela and Ed visited all seven continents, often by bicycle, cycling through Vietnam, China and most of Europe.

In addition to Ed, Jed and Scott, she leaves her sister, Sue Hamblen, of Houston, TX, her cousin Joe Dempsey and his wife Linda, of Pittsburgh, PA and her son-in-law Justin Farkas of Brooklyn, NY.

“In one of those stars I shall be living… I shall not leave you.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

In lieu of flowers, please send a contribution to the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra in her name. 128 Union Street, Suite 204 New Bedford, MA 02740.