Russell Hoffman of Perry

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Russell Hoffman, 92, of Perry passed away Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at the Perry Lutheran Homes in Perry, Iowa.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Perry. Visitation will be Thursday, Dec. 13 from 5-7 p.m. at the Carris Family Funeral Home and Cremation Care in Perry. Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery in rural Perry at a later date.

Memorials will be given to family for designation at a later time and may be left at the funeral home. Online condolences may be sent at www.carrisfuneralhome.com.

Russell Lee Hoffman, “The Gentle Man,” was born Sept. 13, 1926, the son of Harold and Opal Hoffman. He was born at home in Peoples Township north of Woodward.

At the age of 8, he moved with the family to the farm west of Gardiner School in August 1934.

He graduated from eighth grade at Gardiner School then from Perry High in 1943 at the age of 16.

Russ farmed with his dad until July 1944, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. However, because he was only 17, he needed three letters of recommendation as well as his parents’ consent. He took his oath in July 1944 and was called to active duty in February 1945 after his basic training in Texas. 

In May 1945, he successfully passed the test to become an Air Cadet, but there was no need for pilots since the war was over. He was sent to aircraft builders school in Illinois for 4 months and then transferred to Wisconsin and served as a Military Policeman. Russell was honorably discharged in November 1945.

The G.I. Bill permitted him to attend Iowa State College, where he studied engineering from fall 1946 to spring 1947. He left school to return to farming with his dad.

Russell married Alice Lee Flinn on Feb. 26, 1950, at the Methodist Church in Adel. They lived in an apartment in Perry for 11 months and then moved to a 160-acre farm northeast of Perry.

In addition to farming the land, he raised cows, pigs and chickens. Alice and the kids churned the cream, making their own butter. They were blessed with 67 years on the farm, where they raised their three children, James Russell “Rusty”, Robert Duane and Lorrie Lee.

Russ was very active with Rusty and Bob, being a leader in 4-H.

Russ was an active member of the Perry Elks Lodge 407, in which he had been a member for 59 years, serving as treasurer for nine years and being honored as Elk of the Year 1994-1995.

He belonged to the Fairview Church in rural Perry and served as treasurer there for 13 years.

Russ and Alice traveled to Germany, Alaska and also the Panama Canal, which Russ thought was the best!  They also traveled many times to Idaho, California, Arizona and Texas. 

He loved his garden, in which he planted “too much stuff,” as Alice would say. 

Russ loved to play cards with Alice and was tough to beat in cribbage.

Never one to be idle, Russell enjoying creating barn quilts.

Russ and Alice relocated to Spring Valley Retirement after Russ had a stroke in August 2017.

Russ was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Opal; his sister, Norma; and his brother, Richard.

He is survived by his wife, Alice, of 68 years and 9 months; sons, James (Rusty) and wife, Diane, of Eugene, Ore., and Robert of Urbandale; and daughter, Lorrie, and her husband, Bob Nevitt, of Panora; 11 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; numerous nieces; nephews; and an abundance of friends.

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