OBITUARY

Clara Hofer

March 2, 1926May 7, 2021
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Clara Hofer, 95, of Santa Clara, California passed from this life peacefully at the Corinthian Senior Care Home in San Jose as the sun was rising Friday, May 7, 2021 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.

Clara will be remembered as a woman completely devoted to her husband and family, and above all else, as a woman of faith. She trusted completely in the grace and mercy her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, poured out on the cross. She was a woman devoted to prayer, who consistently lived what she believed. She was born on March 2, 1926 in Naples, Italy to Luigi and Concetta Polverino. Clara was raised in a very strict upbringing and she could not go out on a date without a chaperone, which was usually her father, uncle, godfather or brother.

Clara met and married Peter Ben Hofer in Naples, Italy in 1945 during World War II and the newly-married couple spent their honeymoon in Capri, Italy. On June 2, 1946, she left Naples, Italy and immigrated to America on the Italia Societa Di Navigazione ocean liner Vulcania and was processed through Ellis Island. Like so many war brides, she lived in an apartment in New York for a short period of time before joining her husband in Freeman, South Dakota where his family lived. They put down roots and lived on a farm for a brief time before buying their first home in Huron, South Dakota where she was introduced to an Italian couple, Florence and Frank Dave, and the four of them became life-long friends, along with their sons. Clara became a US citizen in 1946 and while living in Huron, they had three children Rosemarie, Marialena and Peter.

In 1958, the family moved to California living in an apartment in San Mateo for a short time before purchasing their home in Santa Clara.

She was a 63-year resident of Santa Clara and a homemaker for 75 years raising their three children. Clara and her husband also helped her brother Guido for over 30 years in his two Italian restaurants; Guido’s Ristorante in San Jose, which later relocated to The Pruneyard in Campbell, and Dino’s in Santa Clara.

She was friendly, caring, social, very independent and had a big heart. She always thought of others before herself and always remembered a birthday, an anniversary, or name day with a card or phone call. Clara had a great passion for gardening and her yard was filled with Rose bushes, Orchids, Irises, Calla Lilies, Mums, Carnations and Gladiolus, to name a few, along with cherry, persimmon and lemon trees. And…how she loved pizza, spaghetti, eggplant parmigiana, chocolate, peanut butter, cream pies, eclairs and cannoli an Italian pastry.

She loved cats and had a few even though she was allergic to them and Gigino and Tigra were two of her favorites. Dogs, not so much, but she did have a few over the years. Then there were the squirrels in her yard and scampering along her fence that she named and would feed peanuts to by the 5-pound bag, and sometimes right out of her hand.

Oh, let’s not forget her red lipstick, which she put on first thing in the morning no matter what until it became too difficult to do so the last few months of her life. During her lifetime, she never drove and walked to the grocery store, drug store, bank and local five-and-dime store which were a few miles from her home. If she needed to go shopping in downtown San Jose, or go to the dentist or the doctor’s office, she took the bus and sometimes it took two or three to get to her final destination.

She tragically lost her beloved husband in April 1998 and persevered living on her own until the age of 92, at which time she went into a private residential care home.

Clara is survived by one of her daughters Marialena Piazza (Portland, OR); son Peter A. Hofer (wife Terry) of San Jose, CA; 4 grandchildren: Jeff Newcomb (wife Traci) of Redding, CA; Peter A. Hofer, Jr. (fiancée Stacey More) of Pollock Pines, CA; Heather Henry (husband Nick Henry) and Karri Panighetti (husband Mike) both of San Jose, CA; 5 great grandchildren: Tanner Newcomb, Brielle Newcomb, Jaxen Newcomb and Tamara Luedee (all of Redding, CA) and Jacob Meza (San Jose, CA); sister Elena Polverino (Naples, Italy); sister-in-law Rita Polverino (Campbell, CA); niece and goddaughter Bruna Stroup (husband Will); great niece and goddaughter Jenna Stroup and Daniel Stroup (all of Campbell, CA); niece Gianna Pagano (husband Christofaro); great nephew Umberto Pagano (wife Laura) and grand-niece Clara Pagano and grand-nephew Fabrizio Pagano (all of Naples, Italy); niece Beverly (Hofer) Wedel (Huron, SD); great nephew Gary Wedel (wife Eileen) of Mitchell, SD; great niece Gail (Hofer) Szabla (husband Mike) of Minneapolis, MN, great niece Carol (Hofer) Sissel (husband Tim) of Albany, OR; godsons David Solis of Santa Clara, CA and Chip Dave of Irvine, CA; dear and close family friends Ann and Chuck Dave (Hollister, CA), Dorothy and Frank Dave (Irvine, CA), Barbara and Mike Solis (Santa Clara, CA), and Linda and Giovanni Rossi (Morgan Hill, CA).

Clara was preceded in death by her grandparents, in-laws, parents, goddaughter Rita Watson, husband, son-in-law, brother and oldest daughter.

A funeral service is being held on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 1 pm, with visitation from 12 – 1 pm at Lima Family Santa Clara Mortuary, followed by a graveside service at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. The family requests that those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation in her memory to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Association - Northern California Chapter.

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, June 1, 2021

  • Funeral

    Tuesday, June 1, 2021

  • Burial

    Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Memories

Clara Hofer

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FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

1945

FROM THE FAMILY

1945

FROM THE FAMILY

Honeymoon in Capri 1945

FROM THE FAMILY

Honeymoon in Capri 1945

FROM THE FAMILY

Cavour Hotel in Naples 1945

FROM THE FAMILY

Rome 1945 and last day in Naples June 1, 1946

FROM THE FAMILY

Rome 1945

FROM THE FAMILY

1945 in Naples, Italy, and left Italy on June 2, 1946 on the Vulcania

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

1945

FROM THE FAMILY

1945

FROM THE FAMILY

Honeymoon in Capri 1945

FROM THE FAMILY

Honeymoon in Capri 1945

FROM THE FAMILY

Cavour Hotel in Naples 1945

FROM THE FAMILY

Rome 1945 and last day in Naples June 1, 1946

FROM THE FAMILY

Rome 1945

FROM THE FAMILY

1945 in Naples, Italy, and left Italy on June 2, 1946 on the Vulcania