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Marcel Hoffman

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Marcel Hoffman, 84, of Benson, Minnesota died Sunday, March 24, 2024, at the Appleton Area Health Care Center in Appleton. Visitation will be held 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2024, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Visitation will continue 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 6, 2024, with the funeral to follow at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Interment will be at the Benson City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church or The Alzheimer’s Association.

Marcel Leroy Hoffman was born October 11, 1939, on his family’s homestead in Tara Township, Swift County, to August and Blanche (Chase) Hoffman. As a boy, he loved playing with his brothers and sisters, and motor vehicles of all kinds. He was less enthusiastic about studying, even though (or perhaps, because) his mother taught at the country schoolhouse. Famously, she flunked him in second grade. But one notable characteristic that Marcel would develop early and carry throughout his life was his incredible work ethic and stubbornness. When he decided something was worth doing, it was done well and on time. He didn’t finish high school but would often say he learned everything he needed to in class and the rest of his considerable knowledge was learned on the road.

Marcel was baptized November 12, 1939, and confirmed in 1954 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. He was raised with a deep commitment to his faith and took great comfort in attending services every Sunday that he could and often served as an usher. In 1959, he went on a blind date at the Benson Armory Roller Rink, and on his way home, he told his friend "I'm gonna marry that girl." June 5, 1959, Marcel and Deanna Corrine Tofte were united in marriage at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Hegbert Township. They were blessed with nearly 65 years of marriage, four children, nine grandchildren, and a lifetime of memories in Benson.

Marcel was proud of his rural roots, his family, his German heritage, and his accomplishments in his chosen profession: truck driving. As a teen, he worked a few winters as a farmhand in North Dakota and admired the hay trucks as they rumbled across the frozen fields. He knew then that he wanted a big truck as soon as he got his license, and that’s exactly what he did. After working a few years for Keith Welker, he joined the team at Tyler’s in Benson as an over-the-road trucker, hauling farm equipment and other essential goods across 49 states and Canada. He was rewarded with many plagues and accolades and set several safe driving records for the company. Officially, he ended his 50-year career with an astonishing 3,701,666 total miles traveled without a single accident - for perspective, which is 148 laps around the Earth. After retiring, he continued to work for Abner Sales and Kennedy Excavating, just to have something to do.

What Marcel enjoyed most in life were the simple things: his family, friends, job, and a good country song to listen to on the road and during happy hour after a long day. He was George Jones’s biggest fan, and a highlight of his life was getting to meet his hero in person in 2003. On any given early morning, Marcel could be found drinking endless cups of black coffee at Sandy’s Cafe and exchanging “information” with his cronies (but according to him, he never gossiped). He especially loved traveling to the western states because he "wasn't interested in anything East of the Mississippi River." He enjoyed spending vacation and retirement days in Montana with his sons and their families, and attending events and activities that his children and grandchildren participated in.

Marcel passed away March 24, 2024 at Appleton Area Health in the company of loved ones. He attained 84 years of age.

Marcel is survived by his wife, Deanna; their four children: Kathy (Tom) Petersen of Minneapolis, Colleen (Jim) Onstad of Edina, Mike (Karen) Hoffman of Belgrade, MT, Marce (Beth) Hoffman of Big Sky, MT; nine grandchildren: Kelly, Erick, and Emily Petersen, Ben and Sam Hoffman, Katie Pearl and Gus Hoffman, Annika and Clara Onstad; his sisters: Beatrice Thompson, Darlene Hoffman, and JoAnn Bieker; plus many nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Blanche and August Hoffman; brothers: Lowell, Dennis, Gary, and Stanley Hoffman; and his family-in-laws: Ingvald and Eleanor Tofte, David Tofte, Eileen Hoffman, Marion and Stanley Schliep, Ted and Phyllis Banken, and Tom Petersen.

Marcel’s pallbearers are his grandchildren: Kelly, Erick, Emily, Ben, Sam, Katie Pearl, Gus, Annika, and Clara. Honorary pallbearers are everyone who called him friend.

Blessed be the memory of Marcel Hoffman.

Zniewski Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

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