Esther L. (Dean) Hoffman was born Feb. 1, 1924 at Milan, IL. to Henry and Ella (Rettig) Dean. She had six brothers and sisters: Elsie, Ruth, William, Clarence, Raymond and Harriet. She attended grade school at Milan, IL. As a teenager Esther worked at the Milan Bakery for $10 a week. Being just two years apart in age, Esther and her sister, Harriet, were very close and did a lot of things together. Esther played the mandolin and Harriet the guitar and they sang and played on WLS radio station and were billed as the “Dean Sisters”. Esther has always loved music and to dance.
She married Otto Hoffman in Illinois on Sept. 6, 1941. They had a double wedding with her sister Harriet and husband Warren Tindall. Otto and Esther farmed in Illinois for 10 years and had three children - Jim (1943), Gene (1946), and Judy (1949). They purchased a farm near Artesian, SD in 1951. Before they moved they lost their home and all their belongings to a fire. They farmed, ranched and raised their children near Artesian. Otto passed away in Feb. 1987. Esther stayed on the farm until Nov. 2010 when health issues caused her to go into the Mitchell hospital and then into Firesteel Healthcare Center.
Esther’s friends and family will testify to what a wonderful cook and baker she was. She always had a fresh batch of cookies and coffee to share with guests. Esther’s green thumb was evident in the beautiful flower gardens she raised each spring and summer. She also loved gardening. She worked side by side with her husband for 36 years to make their farm a showplace, and continued to keep it beautiful after he passed away. Their sons, Jim and Gene, farmed with them, and their daughter, Judy, lived close by, so their families shared a lot of special times together. Esther was very active in the Artesian Senior Citizens, and was president for many years. She enjoyed playing cards with the other folks that came. She was also very active in the Fedora Presbyterian Church, and considers Pastor Dick Poppen a very special friend.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Otto, her parents, Ella (Rettig) and Henry Dean, three brothers, William, Clarence and Raymond Dean, three sisters, Elsie Hodson, Ruth Parker, and Harriet Tindall, and two infant grandsons, Tracy and Travis Hoffman. She is survived by two sons, Jim and Karen (Peterson) Hoffman, Gene Hoffman, one daughter, Judy (Hoffman) and Lowell Wormstadt, daughter-in-law, Judi (Vinz) Larson, nine grandchildren, Matt and Tyler Hoffman, Melissa Schmiedt, Dustin and Brandon Hoffman, Krystle Richards, Jeff and Marty Wormstadt and Angie Scott, and twenty great grandchildren: Dillan and Jada Schmiedt, Ryan, Ren and Malori Hoffman, Darienne and Destini Hoffman, Lucy and Donnie Richards, Korbin, Kenzie and Blayde Hoffman and Tristen, Cole, Alex, Aiden, Noah and Kara Wormstadt and Cayden and Brady Scott.