Wilbur Hoffman Dies at Age 100

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Wilbur F. Hoffman of Livingston died January 6. He was exactly 100 years and four months of age, to the day.

He was born on September 6, 1918, in Irvington, and moved to Livingston with his family as an infant. He had lived in his home on Glendale Avenue from the age of six until his death.

Mr. Hoffman was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Louise Hoffman. He is survived by his daughter, Janice Woodruff and her husband, Lahr Woodruff, and one grandchild.

He attended Central School in Livingston until Harrison School opened, and was in Harrison’s first eighth grade class. Mr. Hoffman was graduated in 1937 from West Orange High School, as Livingston did not have its own high school until 1953.

Mr. Hoffman joined the United States Navy in 1939. He spent six years in the Navy, and was discharged with the rank of Chief Water Tender in 1945 after the end of World War II.

He served aboard the U.S.S. Hughes, a destroyer with the Seventh Fleet. On December 10, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the ship was attacked by ten Japanese planes. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroic actions in helping to save the ship. Mr. Hoffman was a centenarian, however, by the time he received the physical medal from the Navy. It was awarded 73 years after he earned it, during a ceremony at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Livingston on September 29, 2018.

After the war, through the GI Bill, Mr. Hoffman earned his associate’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Newark School of Engineering (which later became the New Jersey Institute of Technology). He then worked for Kaye McDonald, Edison Laboratories, and finally Bell Labs in Whippany, from which he retired in 1982. He also held a gold seal license as a boiler fireman.

Funeralhomeserviceswereprovided for Mr. Hoffman by the Quinn-Hopping Funeral Home of Livingston.

The Tribune has been reporting the news of Livingston since 1929.

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