Mesothelioma Takes the Life of Michigan Teacher ~ The Truth About Mesothelioma

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mesothelioma Takes the Life of Michigan Teacher

Joe Hoffer of Holland, Michigan passed away after battling mesothelioma. He was 61. Hoffer passed away on Monday, and his passing is being mourned by members of the educational community, former students, and his family. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Lugers Hoffer; three children, Jennifer, Katie, and Michael, and three grandchildren. Hoffer was a former board president for Holland Public Schools and the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District.

Hoffer is remembered as an educator who was passionate about helping students who struggled in school. OAISD Superintendent Karen McPhee remembers: "Joe always demonstrated a special place in his heart for students who struggled and students who needed some alternatives to how they were going to find success," McPhee said. "Joe was one of the good guys who cared deeply about people, personally and professionally. His soft spot was for students who, for whatever reason, needed non-traditional ways to earn a diploma, which he believed were so important."

According to school board member Kevin Clark, Hoffer has left behind a legacy. "On the board, he was kind of a story teller, and it was a great style," Clark said. "He was a good leader. He cared deeply for the school district and kids. It doesn't get any better than that. His fingerprints are still all over Holland Public Schools."

Hoffer blamed his mesothelioma on exposure to asbestos. Hoffer believed he had been exposed to asbestos during a summer job in a furnace factory while he was still in college. Mesothelioma has a latency period of several decades, meaning that it the symptoms of mesothelioma may not develop until half a lifetime has passed since the patient's initial exposure to asbestos.

Memorial donations can be made to International Mesothelioma Program, 75 Francis St., Boston, MA, 02115.

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