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WHITLASH - Edward "Ed" Hofer, 63, died Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2003, at his farm home of a heart attack.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Whitlash Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Ernest Doyle and the Rev. John Maatta officiating. Following burial at the Whitlash Cemetery, a luncheon will be held at the Whitlash Community Hall.

Ed was born in Raley, Alberta, Canada, to Jacob and Elizabeth Hofer on May 20, 1940. He received his early education at Sterling, Alberta. Most of his secondary education was completed at the Prairie Bible Institute at Three Hills, Alberta. He finished his senior year at the Western Mennonite High School in Salem, Ore., where he graduated in 1959 and met his future wife-to-be, Esther Landis.

Ed attended Hesston College in Hesston, Kan., for a year before being recruited by the draft board during the Vietnam Conflict. In lieu of active military duty, he spent a three-year stint working for the Selective Service System as an orderly at the Elkhart General Hospital in Elkhart, Ind.

Ed married Esther Landis on June 3, 1966, in Vancouver, Wash. They made their home on the family farm near the Sweetgrass Hills south of Whitlash, which was purchased by the Hofer family in 1952. In addition to farming with several brothers, Ed also maintained his realty sales license and was associated with Fort Benton Realty for 20 years. Ed loved his life as a Montana farmer and rancher and was active in the family business at the time of his sudden death.

Ed was well-known in the north Chester community. He attended the Whitlash Presbyterian Church and served on the board of the Whitlash Community Hall. He was an active participant of the Sweetgrass Hills Family Camp, serving on the planning board for moer than 20 years.

Ed loved southern gospel music. The past several years he enjoyed the Southern Gospel Quartette Convention at Red Deer, Alberta. Some of his favorite music was performed by the Dixie Melody Boys.

In his youth Ed loved to play hockey. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing. In addition, he was a lifelong spectator fan of boxing. He also collected Hesston rodeo belt buckles for his son.

Ed was always a sociable man with a big friendly smile. His family reported that "he never met a stranger." One of his greatest enjoyments in life was drinking coffee and visiting with friends and neighbors.

Ed was preceded in death by his father, Jacob Hofer in 1983; and sisters, Katherine and Elizabeth.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Esther Hofer of Whitlash; son, Jim (Teresa) Hofer of Whitlash; daughter, Lori (Clayton) Christopherson of Windsor, Colo.; seven grandchildren; mother, Elizabeth Hofer of Whitlash; mother-in-law, Ruth Landis of Albany, Ore.; brothers, Herb Hofer of Omaha, Neb., Dr. Jack Hofer of Upland, Calif., Peter Hofer of Three Forks, Joseph Hofer of Helena, Marvin Hofer and John Hofer, both of Whitlash; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester.


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