A memorial gathering will take place Sunday, May 15, 2011 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Bryn Du Mansion, 537 Jones Road, Granville, Ohio 43023.William Andrew Hoffman, a resident of Granville since 1960, died on April 26th 2011 at Riverside Hospital in Columbus. Bill was born on a farm near Houstonia, MO on July 19th 1928, the third child of William A. Hoffman Sr. and Elizabeth Fieselmann Hoffman. Raised on the farm, he was a sports star at Houstonia High School, especially in basketball. He attended Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO, where at age 18 he met the love of his life, Florence Whitney, and sang with her in the a capella choir. They graduated in 1950. Flo and Bill were married on June 15th 1951 and lived West Lafayette, Indiana, where Bill pursued his M.S. and Ph.D in Chemistry at Purdue University. In 1955 Bill took a position in Chemistry at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
The family came to Granville in 1960 when Bill took a position in the Chemistry Department at Denison University. He went on to teach at Denison for 35 years, including periods as Chair of the Chemistry Department and four years as Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. Trained as an analytical chemist, his research centered on the study of complex aqueous equilibria, including the effects of acid rain on forests and the behavior of metal ions produced in nuclear reactions. He spent several sabbaticals at various national laboratories around the country, and was the Director of the Great Lakes Colleges Association program at the National Laboratories in Oak Ridge, TN. Bill was a member the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was active in the Columbus section of the American Chemical Society and held several leadership roles, including President. He was also a member of Sigma Xi, a science honorary society.
An enthusiastic and talented teacher, he influenced the lives of many students over the years, including those that he mentored in his research projects. Bill took special pleasure in helping students interested in art conservation develop projects at Denison and followed their careers with interest. He was noted for his “Word for the Day” in his Chemistry classes. He never lost his love of sports, and he was a well known handball player at the Denison gymnasium. He was an avid reader and an ardent Democrat, and his children fondly remember the many happy hours they spent with him camping, sledding, playing frisbee, and of course playing word games.
Bill remained an active presence on the Denison campus and in the Granville community after his retirement. He is especially remembered for his volunteer work for the Granville Historical Society and as the leading advocate for the Southwest Granville Path that would connect the Evans bicycle and walking path to the Spring Valley Nature Preserve.
Bill’s sister Ila Mae died in 1990. He is survived by his wife Florence W. Hoffman; brother Henry Hoffman and his wife Virginia of Birmingham, AL; son John and his wife Sarah of South Bend, Indiana; daughter Janet and her husband Evan Rossheim of Philadelphia, PA; daughter Katherine and her husband Jerry Trammell of Roanoke, VA; son Karl and his wife Kim of Charlotte, NC; son Mark and his wife Maureen Driscoll of Davis, CA; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. If you would like to make a contribution in Bill’s memory, it may be directed to Kendal at Granville for the Southwest Pathway, or to the Granville Historical Society.