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Betty Jo Hofmann

Betty Jo Hofmann of Oxford, Ohio, and formerly of Liberty, Indiana and Wilmington, North Carolina, passed away with her loving children keeping vigil at her bedside. Since 2011, Betty was a resident of the independent living cottages of the Knolls of Oxford and in April of 2017 entered the nursing facilities of the Knolls where she died the evening of July 25, 2018.

Betty was born September 22, 1928 to Ted and Thelma Gruell of Connersville, Indiana. She was the oldest of four children. Her brothers were Theodore Gruell, Jr., Bobbie Gruell and Billy Gruell. Betty’s young life was very much shaped by the era of the Great Depression and World War II. Like many of that time, the Gruell family struggled to make ends meet, living off and on with relatives so all could better survive. Loss at an early age was also an unfortunate feature of Betty’s life. Her youngest brother Billy lost his life to leukemia at the age of three years old. Later when Betty was only fifteen years old, she lost her father to a stroke. Then when Betty was a young mother of two, still in her early twenties, she lost her dear mother to a protracted battle with cancer. Both brothers, Junior and Bobbie also preceded her in death. Given her family history and twice a cancer survivor herself, Betty marveled as the decades flew by. She never thought she would live to just shy of ninety years old.

Betty was a popular and gifted student. She graduated from Connersville High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society. During the celebration of V-J Day, September 2, 1945, Betty met her future husband, Jack Hofmann. The couple was wed on May 20, 1948. They have three children: Jennifer (Richard Bawcum) Thompson of Alexandria, Virginia; David (Lynn) Hofmann of Liberty, Indiana; and, Gary Hofmann of Atlanta, Georgia. There are four grandchildren: Kristin Thompson McDade of Cave Creek, Arizona; Benjamin (Fernanda) Thompson of Orlando, Florida; Joel (Monica) Hofmann of Richmond, Indiana; and, Brad (Katie) Hofmann of Houston, Texas. There are eight great grandchildren and several step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren have been welcomed into Betty’s family.

Jack and Betty moved from Connersville to Liberty in 1953 and were members of the community until 2005. Betty worked as a cashier at Woodruff’s Grocery in Liberty for twenty-five years. She enjoyed her work with the public and was especially fond of the opportunity to greet the young children that came to the store with their parents.

Betty remained an avid reader throughout her life and always had several of books by her chair. She also felt it important to stay informed about world events and politics. She loved art and dabbled in it herself. She was especially fond of history and used this knowledge to inform her views of the current world. For many years, she was pleased to perform her civic duty by serving as a poll sheriff for Harrison Township.

Late in 2005, Betty and her husband Jack moved to Wilmington, North Carolina to be closer to their daughter Jennifer. While living there, Jack passed away in 2007. In 2011, Betty moved to the Knolls of Oxford. There she lived out the final years of her life. Now she will be dearly missed by those that love her.

Private family services will be held in September to celebrate Betty’s life and her 90th Birthday. Donations may be made to the National Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Disease Research or The Knolls of Oxford. Showalter Blackwell Long Funeral Home, Fosdick Chapel, Liberty, is in charge of the arrangements. For additional information or to send condolences, go to www.ShowalterBlackwellLong.com