Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2008
Funeral services for Marcella (Zahratka) Hoffman will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. The Rev. James Berning and Deacon Gary Hoffman will officiate. Interment will be in St Theodore Cemetery.
Marcella was born on Jan. 9, 1917, in Wheatland Township, Rice County, the daughter of Frank and Anna (Nerud) Zahratka. She died Nov. 18, 2008, at Methodist Hospital in St Louis Park. She was 91 years old.
Marcy and Pete came to Albert Lea in 1937. During the following 40 years they raised 12 children at their home on Newton Street. Over the years Marcy was very active in her children’s schools in many ways. She fondly recalled her days as a playground supervisor at Ramsey and her activities with St. Theodore’s Women’s Guild, the VFW and the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary. She loved her church, her husband, her children and her community very much. After her youngest was born, she became politically active on the state and local level to ensure the passage of laws guaranteeing educational opportunities for Down syndrome children. Mary, her youngest, went to grade school at Ramsey and was the first Down syndrome graduate of Albert Lea High School.
As a teenager Marcy loved school and was always proud of her scholarship to Mankato Normal School and winning a WCCO literary contest. Her 55 years of marriage to Peter brought many wonderful and loving memories of card playing and travel. She was especially fond of their travel to Europe, Japan and Taiwan. Those were exciting times as was being able to be present for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
She leaves behind all of her children, their spouses and 29 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Her children and their spouses are: Jim (Eiko) Hoffman, Victoria; Christine (Andy) Polis, Brooklyn Center; Peter (Suzanne) Hoffman, Durham, N.C.; Robert (Christy) Hoffman, New London; Deacon Gary (Jacqui) Hoffman, Chanhassen; Tom (Doris) Hoffman, Navato, Calif.; Kathy (Bob) Oothoudt, Albert Lea; Mark (Linda) Hoffman, Albert Lea; Richard (Marcia) Hoffman, Albert Lea; Matt (Sue) Hoffman, Mahtomedi; Cindy (Dave) Martens, Kasson; and Mary Hoffman, Albert Lea.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Peter, and a granddaughter, Christine Hoffman.
She will be remembered not only for her deep love and loyalty to family and friends, but for her great culinary skills, especially steaming potato dumplings awash in gravy followed by kolachy rolls. Her final years were spent in comfort at the Victoria Care Center, Victoria. Memorials honoring the countless scholarships St. Theodore’s gave to her children may be made out to St. Theodore’s Catholic School’s Adopt a Student Program. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.