Gerald “Jerry” Hoefler, of Pine City, MN passed away at his home on Sunday, April 11, 2021 at the age of 90.
Jerry was born April 23, 1930 to David and Olive Hoefler in St. Paul, MN. Growing up, he would begin every day by asking “well, what am I going to do today?” and was sure to find trouble shortly thereafter. There was never a dull moment with Jerry his entire life. Jerry attended Pine City High School where he graduated in 1948. After graduation, Jerry was awarded full-ride athletic scholarships from nine different universities but chose to attend the University of Minnesota where he received full scholarships for football, basketball, and track and field. From there, he transferred to the University of Mississippi where he played football until he decided school work wasn’t as interesting as having fun and playing sports. From college, Jerry settled in Pine City where he held various jobs and began working for Coca Cola Bottling Company in 1950 at the age of 20 years old until he retired in 1978. He was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Mary Lou Anderson, on July 17, 1950. From this union, three daughters were born: Roxanne, Lori, and Tammy.
Those who knew Jerry will understand how difficult it is to sum up his life in a few short paragraphs. He was larger than life and left everyone he met with a story and laughter. While Jerry had many hobbies and abilities, his number one passion over the years was raising his Labradors. He was a member of the Central Minnesota Retriever Club for 36 years and spent many summers in St. Cloud, MN at field trials where he won countless awards and accolades for his training abilities and his award-winning dogs. He was never without his labs until the last few years of his life. Along with his accomplishments in dog training, he will also be remembered as a phenomenal athlete. In 1999, he was proud to be inducted into the Pine City Athletic Hall of Fame and enjoyed following many local sports teams.
Jerry enjoyed many hobbies over the years including deer hunting, archery, horseback-riding, and showing Alaskan Malamute dogs. He could tell a story like no other and loved nothing more than to sit around his friends and family – beer in hand – and make everyone laugh until they cried. Jerry was extremely creative and artistic, often gracing his friends and family with his drawings and “art work” in their birthday cards or “just because”. In his later years, Jerry took up wood-working and was proud of his collection of over 50 canes and several polished tree knots. He was interested in anything that allowed him to show his creativity. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were his pride and joy and he loved to tease them, hassle them, and tell lots of stories and jokes. He was also very proud of his devoted wife, Mary, who made sure Jerry was always taken care of and tolerated his many shenanigans which kept her on her toes daily. Jerry lived a very full, happy life and has given us more than a lifetime of laughter to remember him by.
Jerry is survived by his wife of nearly 71 years, Mary L. Hoefler of Pine City, MN; daughter Roxanne (Greg) Johnson of Indian Wells, CA; grandson Chad (Dorothy) Johnson of La Quinta, CA; granddaughters Kim (Nick) Hallberg of Grantsburg, WI and Katie Nelson of St. Louis Park, MN; sister Gaye (Cully) Erickson of Phillips, WI; sister-in-law Eleanor Hoefler of Lindstrom, MN; Son-In-Law Gary Nelson of Grantsburg, WI; great-grandchildren Lauren Hallberg and Grant Hallberg of Grantsburg, WI; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, David and Olive Hoefler of Pine City, MN; daughters Lori Hoefler Manthei and Tammy Nelson; brother, Gary Hoefler, and his beloved labs – Brew and Crude.
Brad Samuelson will officiate at funeral services for Jerry: 4 PM; Friday, April 16, 2021 with a gathering planned for two hours prior to the service all at the Swanson Funeral Chapel in Pine City. The interment will take place at Birchwood Cemetery in Pine City.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to: Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City ~ Swanson Chapel