The world’s light is shining a little dimmer with the peaceful passing of Edward Joseph “Jodie” Hoffer on Tuesday, the 8th of December 2020, surrounded by his children at his home in Houston, Texas. A man who never met a stranger, effortlessly brightened the room with the flash of his smile, always extended a helping hand to others, and treated all with dignity and respect – Jodie was the consummate mensch – a person who acts with honor, integrity, and kindness.
Jodie was born in Beaumont, Texas on August 30, 1929 to Sarah and Charles Hoffer. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Maryann Gibson Hoffer; and his older brother Murray Hoffer. Jodie is survived by his first wife and children’s mother, Relda Finger Hoffer; his children and their spouses, Pamela & Mark Wallock, Wendy & Ira Bleiweiss, Bruce & Arlette Hoffer, and Scott & Gayle Hoffer; his grandchildren Josh & Jen Mesinger, Adam & Ayeisha Mesinger, Evan Bleiweiss, Alex Hoffer, Wesley Hoffer, Zac & Robyn Hoffer, Sarah Hoffer, Ellen & Jordan Campbell, Rebekah Hoffer, Samantha Hoffer, Katelyn Bleiweiss, and Max & Sarah Hoffer; his great-grandchildren Redding and Malone Mesinger; and his younger brother Barry Hoffer and sister-in-law Linda.
After growing up in Beaumont, attending the University of Texas, marrying Relda, and entering the military, Jodie moved to Houston where he raised his family. As a boy Jodie had dreamed of playing first base for the Yankees, though he instead ended up becoming the DiMaggio of the furniture industry. In his more than 70-year career, he helped build Finger Furniture into an industry leader, launched Cort Furniture Rental, the nation’s leading furniture rental company, and opened his crown jewel, Hoffer Furniture, where some of his children and grandchildren, along with devoted employees, felt blessed to work by his side. Each of these businesses operated with a steadfast focus on serving their local communities. Jodie, a Mason and a Shriner, also devoted his time and energy to numerous charitable causes, including March of Dimes, Baylor College of Medicine and the Huffington Center on Aging, the “I Have A Dream” program of Lamar University, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Grand Opera, and Greater Houston Partnership. He founded The Furniture Bank, both locally and nationally, including its successful thrift store, “The Bargain Bazaar.”
Jodie, the King of Cool, had an appreciation for the finer things in life, was an immaculate host, and could charm in any setting – but ultimately the essential things are what made him truly happiest – his beloved family, his many dear friends, and crispy fried chicken on Saturdays. And he loved to relax flipping the pages of a novel, with the soft jazz piano of Nat King Cole playing along as the soundtrack.
Through the years Jodie was fortunate to travel the world on great adventures, often with Maryann by his side – and, for whomever he met along the way, his earnest, loyal, and caring spirit emanated. But Houston was Jodie’s home and always near to his heart, and he showed it with pride when he created the ‘I♥HOU’ campaign and merchandise to benefit beautification of the city.
Of all his endeavors, Jodie was perhaps most famous for his spicy dill pickles, crafted with love for over 70 years and hand delivered to his close friends who eagerly awaited them each summer.
“Papa Jodie” was the revered patriarch of the family and a mentor to many, a role to which he was perfectly suited – generous with his wisdom and always leading by example. His legacy will shine on through all of us, always.
Heartfelt thanks to Nancy, Rose, Elizabeth, and William for their extraordinary care and tireless support.
The family will gather for a private interment service at Glenwood Cemetery on Thursday, December 10, 2020 with Rabbi Brian Strauss officiating.
Contributions in Jodie’s memory may be directed to The Garden Club of Houston www.gchouston.org, The Furniture Bank www.houstonfurniturebank.org, or Congregation Beth Yeshurun www.bethyeshurun.org.