×

Leppert Mortuaries – Carmel

900 N. Rangeline Rd., Carmel, IN

OBITUARY

Robert J Hoffa

December 30, 1954August 20, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Robert J. Hoffa, 64, passed away peacefully on August 20, 2019. Born in Omaha, Nebraska to Daniel and Jane (Fall) Hoffa, he met his wife of 42 years, Debra Underriner, while working towards his Electrical Engineering Degree at Iowa State University. Their careers took them to Cincinnati, Ohio where Bob soon became the only man in a household with his wife and five daughters. He received his Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and later settled his family in Carmel, Indiana. As a Controls Engineer in various industries for 25 years, he used his knowledge to design jet, boat, automobile, tractor, and even saw mill engines, leading to numerous patents in the electrical engineering field. After leaving the corporate world, he started his own contracting business and became known as the man who could fix anything. Much to his family’s chagrin, it never bothered him to leave the house in his “hole-y”, paint-splattered and stained shirts. He used his engineering ability to help anyone who needed it, from fixing broken down cars for friends and family to building new cat houses for the residents of the Hamilton County Humane Society. Always reliable and ready to help, he leaves a legacy in his community. Bob’s sense of humor often came out when it was least expected. At his wedding, he blasted the theme song to Rocky after walking down the aisle. When coaching his daughter’s u-10 soccer team, he convinced the whole team to yell “Never give up. Never surrender,” (a famous line from the movie Galaxy Quest) before each game, to the amusement of the parents on the sidelines. He thought Menards was the best grocery store and enjoyed saving big money. Bob loved rock music. He went to hundreds of rock concerts in his lifetime and could name songs in less than 5 notes. During college, he was a drummer with the stage name “Rocky J” and worked part-time as a stagehand for touring rock groups. He passed his love for music on to his daughters. Bob’s idea of a good vacation was camping or going to amusement parks. He enjoyed fishing, spelunking, zip-lining, roller coasters, and sitting around a campfire. His hobbies included model trains, drumming, and tinkering with stereo equipment and cars. He believed everything could be fixed, and that everything had value. Robert is survived by his wife Debra, five daughters; Angela Hoffa (Ian Holloway), Christina Cooper (Evan Cooper), Elizabeth Germon (Robert Germon), Jessica Hoffa, and Kimberly Hoffa; three grandchildren Aaron, Lucas, and Guinevere, mother Jane, brother Daniel Jr. and sister Sara. Preceded in death by his father Daniel Sr.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Humane Society for Hamilton County, 1721 Pleasant St, Noblesville, IN 46060

Bob I met Bob almost 48 years ago in the late fall of 1971 at Turnstyle store, which was like an upscale Target. We worked together in the toy and sporting goods department. We were both sophomores in high school, with all the hormones that go with it. We had trips to the Michigan dunes in the summer and even double dated. In the June of 1972, Bob and I worked on his 1961 Ford Econoline van, named “Spot” because there was a lot of bondo and marine paint holding it together and a “spot” of metal. That is where I started to learn how to work with Bob. We rebuilt the front suspension, and did engine work and then took a road trip to Iowa at the end of summer. After high school we headed off to college, I went to Creighton University in Omaha, Bob to Iowa State in Ames. I would frequently call him, and on an evening night in October 1973 said “he was too busy to talk”, so I talked a girl that was in his room watching TV. That girl turned out to be my future wife, Marla. The next year I transferred to Iowa State. Bob was my best man when we got married in November 1976. We had more contact through the years, a fishing trip to Wisconsin BC (before children). And we also met as families to go camping, fishing and other holidays during the next 30 plus years of raising our families in Wheaton, Waterloo, Cincinnati, Fond du Lac, Carmel, Downers Grove and St. Charles. Bob loved to eat, so did I, obviously…and I liked to cook. I could not believe how he ate as much and never gained weight that matched his intake. I got use to calling him the man with the iron gut and or bottomless pit. I will never forget when he introduced me to skyline chili 4 years ago. We had to have a 5 way…which was multiple chili hot dogs, chili on spaghetti all covered with cheese…it was a real heart stopper. I could not finish it. Of course, Bob did. During chemo treatments I always thought that you don’t have much of an appetite and were prone to nausea. Where we went for his treatments there was a bank of windows with not much of a view except for the drive thru for a McDonald’s. Yes, he would send me to get him carry out or we had to stop after our 6-7 hour chemo session. During his illnesses, when I would come for a visit, he wanted me to make him French toast for breakfast and soup with grilled cheese for lunch. Dinner was negotiable according to current diet restrictions and collaborated with Debbie. In January 2015 after suddenly losing my job, Bob asked me if I could come to work with him. We worked on a lot of small and large projects, remolding 3 bathrooms, painting 2 houses, laying hardwood flooring on an entire first floor. We also worked together with Angela and Ian to remodel the kitchen in their historic house in Greenfield During the next 2 years I learned to work with better with Bob. We got to the point where I would anticipate the tool or task to do before he asked. It was very hard to meet Bob’s expectations. He had a very high bar on doing the best job that can and could be done. Why? Because was Bob a fixer. Nothing in his life seemed too big a challenge to repair, and after his analysis, it was engineered and fixed to work better than new. I now keep asking myself “how would Bob do it?” when starting a project. We had a lot of time together during the last 2 years since his heart attack in July 2017, 6 chemo sessions in 2018 and bone marrow transplant in 2019. We talked a lot about our families, kids, grandchildren and hopeful for a good retirement and enjoyable life. Angela, Tina, Elizabeth, Jessica, and Kim, your dad did love you all, and even though it was difficult at times, he always wanted everything to go right for each of you. It was the engineer in him that thought it to be done his way. My wish for Bob, was to get better and stronger physically, but also to achieve a second plateau in his life. In October I had written the following to him. I will always be your friend...more than you know. I came to a realization that anyone who has been given 3 more chances to live, should be thankful for the additional time. And with that time reflect to understand life is a lot more than his or her existence. Life has more than one chapter, the first chapter usually is about self, the second chapter is about others and God. Some get to the second chapter early, others late, and some, unfortunately never.

I know Bob got to the second chapter, and can now be without the pain and physical weakness in the glory of God. I can only wonder, but last week he showed up in heaven with a holey, paint and caulk ridden shirt, carrying his bucket of tools, ready to start fixing and remodeling for his new clients and friends. St. Peter, if you’re listening, I would like to give you a hint to please let him have a property to build his garage which he talked about for years, it should occupy and keep him busy for a while. Bob……thank you for being my friend.

  • DONATIONS

  • Humane Society for Hamilton County

Services

  • Memorial Vistitation Tuesday, August 27, 2019
  • Memorial Service Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Memories

Robert J Hoffa

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Jane Harding

September 4, 2019

I am so very sorry, Debbie. I remember way back when you first fell in love with Bob; heady times! I just "searched and saw" all these wonderful photos of you, Bob and your daughters -- what a nice family. I am so very sorry for your loss and hope your memories of him will give you comfort. Jane Harding

Rebecca Stevens

August 26, 2019

I remember the day I met Bob and showed him our cattery enclosures that offered no place for the cats to perch. Of course, we had a very small budget to build something appropriate for our cats--but Bob assured me he had a plan. With nothing but PVC pipe and some fabricated panels, not only did he design multi-tiered perches for the cats in multiple enclosures, but he also took the left over materials and made them food and water bowls to match! He donated 100% of his time, and in doing so, he made life so much better for countless cats who have passed through our doors over the years.

On behalf of the HSHC staff, board, and animals we serve, may God send those mourning your loss both comfort and peace at this difficult time.

Rebecca Stevens
President and CEO
Humane Society for Hamilton County

David Francis

August 26, 2019

Bob became a great friend while he remodeled my condo. Bob, Debbie and I went to many concerts over the years and I will cherish those memories. Bob told fun stories of a Motley Crew concert that we attended and he brought up that concert several times over the years. We attended numerous other concerts in the last 10 years and I am blessed to have known Bob. I am thinking about Bob, Debbie and the entire family. God bless you all.

Malinda Lowder

August 26, 2019

Debbie,
We are so sorry for your loss. Chris and I are here for you whatever you need.
Chris and Malinda Lowder

Linda & Bruce Ranger

August 25, 2019

Deb, we are so sorry for your loss. We loved the exacting work habits, fun, and gentle nature of Bob. He was a congenial contractor working with my interior design clients and myself. My husband Bruce and I considered him a friend. Lots of fun memories of Bob.
Linda Ranger and Bruce

Patty & Mike Camp

August 25, 2019

Everywhere we look around our house we see Bob’s meticulous, creative handiwork. We’ll never forget the way he transformed our home & always be grateful for the way it has changed the way we live. This beautiful window box was just one of his gifts to us! In the six months we spent together working on the remodel we became good friends. Bob often reminded us of that over the years that have followed. There’s no one like Bob! We’ll miss him.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Robert J. Hoffa, 64, passed away peacefully on August 20, 2019. Born in Omaha, Nebraska to Daniel and Jane (Fall) Hoffa, he met his wife of 42 years, Debra Underriner, while working towards his Electrical Engineering Degree at Iowa State University. Their careers took them to Cincinnati, Ohio where Bob soon became the only man in a household with his wife and five daughters. He received his Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and later settled his family in Carmel, Indiana.
As a Controls Engineer in various industries for 25 years, he used his knowledge to design jet, boat, automobile, tractor, and even saw mill engines, leading to numerous patents in the electrical engineering field. After leaving the corporate world, he started his own contracting business and became known as the man who could fix anything. Much to his family’s chagrin, it never bothered him to leave the house in his “hole-y”, paint-splattered and stained shirts. He used his engineering ability to help anyone who needed it, from fixing broken down cars for friends and family to building new cat houses for the residents of the Hamilton County Humane Society. Always reliable and ready to help, he leaves a legacy in his community.
Bob’s sense of humor often came out when it was least expected. At his wedding, he blasted the theme song to Rocky after walking down the aisle. When coaching his daughter’s u-10 soccer team, he convinced the whole team to yell “Never give up. Never surrender,” (a famous line from the movie Galaxy Quest) before each game, to the amusement of the parents on the sidelines. He thought Menards was the best grocery store and enjoyed saving big money.
Bob loved rock music. He went to hundreds of rock concerts in his lifetime and could name songs in less than 5 notes. During college, he was a drummer with the stage name “Rocky J” and worked part-time as a stagehand for touring rock groups. He passed his love for music on to his daughters.
Bob’s idea of a good vacation was camping or going to amusement parks. He enjoyed fishing, spelunking, zip-lining, roller coasters, and sitting around a campfire. His hobbies included model trains, drumming, and tinkering with stereo equipment and cars. He believed everything could be fixed, and that everything had value.
Robert is survived by his wife Debra, five daughters; Angela Hoffa (Ian Holloway), Christina Cooper (Evan Cooper), Elizabeth Germon (Robert Germon), Jessica Hoffa, and Kimberly Hoffa; three grandchildren Aaron, Lucas, and Guinevere, mother Jane, brother Daniel Jr. and sister Sara. Preceded in death by his father Daniel Sr.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Humane Society for Hamilton County, 1721 Pleasant St, Noblesville, IN 46060