First Tacoma Homicide of 2019: Mary Hoffer

mary hoffer

It couldn’t go on like this. Mary Hoffer knew that the fights with her boyfriend had to stop. It was constant. Neighbors in the apartment building in the 800 block of South 8th Street had become used to the yelling, the screams, the things breaking. It had to stop. She told her coworkers that she would meet up with them on January 4th, Friday night after she sat down and had a civilized talk with her 37-year-old boyfriend.

Mary never showed Friday night. She didn’t answer phone calls. She wasn’t online. When she didn’t answer her door on Saturday, her coworkers called the police. Police arrived and found Mary dead. She had been beaten and strangled becoming the first Tacoma homicide this year.  They also found her boyfriend dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The two of them were from Warsaw, Indiana. Mary was known to be a generous person. In 2015 she organized a GoFundMe for someone who had lost everything. My thoughts go out to her family and to all who knew this couple. Death has a way of rippling through the lives of those still living. It’s impossible to estimate the impact someone makes until they are gone.

As always the comments section is reserved for those who knew Mary who might want to share any thoughts or memories of her.
– Jack

One response to “First Tacoma Homicide of 2019: Mary Hoffer

  1. I knew Mary through the Red Cross, where she volunteered as a Disaster Health Services nurse. We met when we were deployed to a diaster relief operation on Colorado, she from Indiana and I from Upstate New York. As happens often for folks on these relief efforts, we began to form a friendship based in the unique experience we were sharing. A couple of meals together or with other new-found friends, and we decided to stay in touch via social media.

    When Superstorm Sandy struck a year or so later, we ended up deployed again to the same headquarters in New York City. Just enough time for one or two shared meals after some really long and difficult days, and it was already time to say goodbye again. Not however before Mary showed me what a truly caring person she was. After a particularly difficult day, we decided to find a good Mexican restaurant we’d heard about near Times Square. As we left the restaurant, Mary had about half of her meal packaged to go. We went out the door, and she started heading in the wrong direction. I said something and Mary simply said, “I want to find someone who needs this more than I do.” I followed her quietly now, until she found a man sitting against a building, clearly homeless. She asked him if he’d eaten and when he said, “no”, she asked him if he’d like her food. The man was grateful and took her offering.

    We talked about her actions on the way back into the lights of Times Square, and it turns out this was a habit of Mary’s. She regularly feeds strangers, especially when she has an abundance.

    Despite problems of her own and not a lot of financial wealth, Mary is known for her kindness to others. Her light has dimmed now, but it is not extinguished. She’s brightened my life and the lives of countless others, including stray people and cats, both of whom she fed regularly. Mary feeds me too, in a place deep in my heart. She’s still feeding me, even as I write these words.

    I’ll miss her and the way I know she leans into life. Mary is one of those who lives fully and in the moment. She is a model for me and for those who care for her or know her. The tragedy of her death should not overpower the light she has gifted to the world. I’m better for having connected with her, and I’m lucky to have known her.

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