Memorial tree honors life of St. Marys woman

Photo by Amy Cherry Family and friends of the late Clare Hoffman of St. Marys are shown during a memorial tree planting ceremony at Benzinger Park on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Amy Cherry - Jude Hoffman, husband of the late Clare Hoffman, is shown on the left observing the planting of a memorial tree in her honor at Benzinger Park on Wednesday afternoon. The ceremony was hosted by the St. Marys Shade Tree Commission. Also shown in photo planting the tree is David Grotzinger of West Creek Nursery along with Gail Shturtz, Shade Tree vice-chairperson, shown on the right.
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Family and friends of the late Clare Hoffman gathered at Benzinger Park in St. Marys on Wednesday afternoon to take part in the dedication of a memorial tree in her honor.
“A memorial tree is a way to remember a significant individual - someone who deserves a lasting remembrance,” said Cly Hornung, secretary/treasurer, of the Shade Tree Commission which hosted the ceremony.
The ceremony took place between the softball fields where a green mountain sugar maple was planted by David Grotzinger of West Creek Nursery. The planting was originally slated to take place in the spring, however was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A plaque commemorating the event is situated in front of the tree. It reads, “In loving memory of Clare Hoffman 1963 - 2019. In memory of our dear friend Clare. She meant so much to us. Our love for her goes on…We will keep her in our hearts always! September 2020.
Funding for the tree was provided Hoffman’s family and friends including JoAnne Bolt, Barb Detsch, Lindy Gabler, Barb Handwerger, Roni Marshall, Patty Cotter, Barb Fritz, Susan Goetz, Mary Ellen Hawkins, Donna Posteraro, and Lisa Salter.
Clare passed away on December 17, 2019 at age 56 following a courageous battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband Jude, two children Patrick and Julie Hoffman, her mother, two sisters, and two brothers, according to her obituary, which also states Clare coached and played volleyball, taught aerobics, enjoyed gardening, interior design, and coffee with the “gym girls”, as well as often volunteered at the local Catholic schools where her children attended.
Jude Hoffman, Clare’s husband, offered heartfelt sentiments to his late wife’s friends in attendance at the ceremony noting how important their relationship was to her.