Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Remembering Russell S. Hofer Jr., Educator, Updated With New Photo


Mr. Hofer was the most influential adult, male figure in my life during the late 1950s and 1960s growing up in Austin, Pennsylvania, as my father had passed away when I was five (5) years old of polio.

I first met Mr. Hofer as a seven (7) year old on the Little League Baseball field here in Austin as he would become my Little League Baseball coach.  I would play Little League baseball for him from age 7 through age 12.  He taught me the art and science of baseball.  Many fond memories would be created during that relationship, including those on the road to winning the District Fifteen Little League Baseball Championship in 1962.

Potter-Mckean Little League Baseball All Star Team. Mr. Hofer is the first person on the left in the top row. I'm the second from the right in the top row

Upon entering middle school, Mr. Hofer would become my principal until I graduated in 1967.

Shortly before his death in 2010, I had the opportunity to reunite with him in Winter Haven, Florida. My wife, Angie, and I not only visited his home, but went to lunch with him and his daughter, Karen, who was living with him at the time.

During this visit, I learned that Mr. Hofer grew up in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, attended West Chester State University, Penn State University, and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy.  In fact, he was a member of the West Chester State University Varsity Football Team.

1950 West Chester State University Photo
Mr. Hofer would serve the Austin School District for thirty (30) years. His early years of service would be as a history, health and physical education teacher.  Thereafter, becoming the school principal and in 1968, the school superintendent. He would retire from the Austin Area School District in 1981.

Superintendent Hofer also held leadership positions in the following organizations while living here in Austin, Pennsylvania:

  • Executive Board Member of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, 1974 - 1977
  • Charles Cole Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, 2nd Vice President
  • Potter County American Automobile Association Board of Directors
  • United Methodist Church Administrative Board
  • Arcana Lodge, F.and A.M, Treasurer and Past Master
  • Austin Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post

Below are pictures I have copied from the Austin High School yearbooks, beginning in 1971:

1971, Supervising Principal

1973, Superintendent

1975, Superintendent

1978, Superintendent

1981, Retired

No comments:

Post a Comment