Mary Donahue Hoffman passed away in her home in Redondo Beach, California on Sunday morning January 25, 2009. She was born in Erin Prairie, Wisconsin on April 9, 1923. Mary lived in Redondo Beach in the same house for the past 54 years. She was married to Philip John Hoffman, and together they had five children, Dan Hoffman, Julianne Surowski (deceased), Tom Hoffman, Marie Hoffman Demarse and Phylis Hoffman. Mary is also survived by her 9 grandchildren, and 5 great grand children, as well as, her sisters Marguerite Maloney and Helen Hintz and her brothers Patrick Donahue, and Tom Donahue. Mary had many jobs over her lifetime but the one she was most proud of was being a Special Education Teacher in Redondo Beach for the Los Angeles County Department of Education. She loved working with special needs children and she forged strong relationships with the families of the children she taught. Mary graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills in 1985 (She would always say its never too late to learn!) and she retired from the county a few years later. Mary seemed to be even busier when she retired: she worked part-time in a pre-school, became a Eucharistic minister to the sick, volunteered for the Special Olympics events in the South Bay, and drove many older friends to church, the supermarket and on other errands A visitation will be held on Thursday, Jan 29th from 5pm to 9pm with a rosary at 7pm in the evening at Rice Mortuary in Torrance. Her funeral mass will be on Friday, Jan 30th at 10 am at St. James Church in Redondo Beach with a burial at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. The family asks that in lieu of flowers please volunteer your time to a charity or a need in your community; or if you would like donations can be made to Special Olympics at Special Olympics 1133 19th Street, NW #1200 Washington, DC 20036 800-700-8585 (select 2)or online at When asked how she would like to be remembered Mary said, "a kind, caring person who loved her family and friends and fellow man."

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  1. I just viewed the video, it brought back great memories for me. Your Mom was one of my favorite people. I loved her kind and generous nature. She was laid back and taught me many things as I visited with her over the years. She had a wonderful outlook on life and was truly a gift. I know she is rejoicing with her loved ones now and watching over all of us. Love and Hugs, Geri

  2. To my dear cousins, Your mother (my Aunt Mary) was a gift to us all. Many years ago she and Phyllis travelled up and down the east coast. I was thrilled when they came to my house for a visit. While we were having dinner and talking about the places they had been, Aunt Mary said she realized that the neat part of travelling was not the places you go but rather the people you spend time with along the way. Your Mom opened her home to so many. She always embraced the people around her and she was so generous in sharing the gift of her time. Thank you all for sharing her with us. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Nancy Hugs to all from Marc, Jack, Ford and Bridget too.

  3. Reading the Guest book was nice. Each note I could see Aunt Mary. I couldn’t put it any better then she had twinkle in her eye and a quiet faith in God. She and Dad were so alike but she so much softer. I will miss her! I miss all of you. May God bless and care for all of you Love, Janet,Ted, Mitch and Brian

  4. Dear Hoffman Family, The video memorial was just beautiful. I have many special memories of Aunt Donnie. My favorites are Christmas Eve at her house and how much she enjoyed all of the children and when she came to visit John and I in Seattle. We had so much fun showing her around our new city. I think of you all often, and I am sorry for the losses you have had the past few years. Love, Karen

  5. Aunt Donnie was one of my favorite people and she will be missed by all who knew her. Her sense of humor and kindness added joy to all our family get-togethers.

  6. We are thinking of you all and wish we could be there. Aunt Mary was a great women and will be missed. We hope to see you all soon and will keep you in our prayers.

  7. Thinking of Aunt Mary brings a smile to my face. She was such a wonderful woman who always seemed to put others before herself. We were so blessed to have her in our lives and she will be greatly missed. Wish we could be there to give all of you big hugs and kisses. Know that you are in our daily thoughts and prayers. Love to all, Ann and family

  8. I will always have fond memories for my Aunt Mary who always had a warm smile, hug and kind words for everyone, including me.

  9. Dear Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Mary and I were friends, neighbors and colleagues. We worked together at Edison School in Redondo Beach teaching special needs children in 1984. Mary was an inspiration and a dedicated teacher. She worked non-stop with the children during the school day and would rarely slow down to take a coffee or lunch break. Mary and I shared many fun moments together including festive parties at school and home cooked pork roast dinners at her house on Sunday evenings. I lived 1 block from Mary so we were able to get together often. It was fun watching Mary’s grandson Porter and my son Eric play together. Mary had a twinkle in her eye and a quiet faith in God. She will live forever in my heart and I will always cherish her words of wisdom and advise. She helped me through many difficult times in my life over the years and I am a better person for knowing her. Rest in Peace and may God bless you Mary, your friend forever, Liza (or Lize (sounds like: “prize”, was her nick-name for me)

  10. Thornton Wilder wrote: “All that we can know about those we have loved and lost is that they would wish us to remember them with a more intensified realization of their reality. What is essential does not die but clarifies. The highest tribute to the dead is not grief, but gratitude.” It is with a deeply grateful heart and many wonderful memories that I am thinking about Aunt Mary today. I am holding all of you in my prayers and hoping the memories you have can help you through this difficult time. Blessings and peace to you. All my love, Mary Pat

  11. For dear Aunt Mary€”ahh, all the hours I spent in the house on South Juanita growing up! Her easygoing, patient and loving spirit will live on in our memories. My deepest sympathy to cousins Tom, Dan, Marie and Phyllis.

  12. Dear Cousins, My favorite memory of Aunt Mary is a story my Dad told about a bad storm coming up and everyone going to the basement. When they got down there they looked around and Aunt Mary was missing. Someone ran upstairs and found her filling her plate with food. She knew the best was yet to come. I’m so greatful for the lunch with some of the Hoffmans in October for Mary’s last visit back east. Love and prayers, Debbie

  13. To the Hoffman gang, I always enjoyed our family trips to CA as a child! Your family was always so gracious and hospitable. Aunt Mary was always so generous, warm and kind! She will be remembered just as she requested. We love you all dearly and feel so blessed to call you family! May you find strength in your faith and your amazing memories! Much Love, Ali

  14. Dear Cousins, We are sending tons of hugs your way! Aunt Mary has found peace, what a blessing for her. I am sure her and Dad are in a heavy discussion in heaven. She truly was a gentle soul whom we all loved very much. We were all enriched by knowing her and all of you! Love and Peace, Jim, Jean and Mike


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