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Manny Hoffman, former Homewood mayor, dies

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Updated: April 1, 2013 11:50AM



Manny Hoffman was remembered Wednesday as a “Homewood institution” and as a mayor who made the village a fun place.

Mr. Hoffman, a longtime insurance agent who held several elected posts in a long career of public service, died early Wednesday in Sarasota, Fla., according to his son, Larry Hoffman. He was 76.

“He couldn’t do enough,” Larry Hoffman said of his father’s civic duties. “It was not like work to him at all. He was happy to do it. I was proud of him. He did an amazing job.”

Mr. Hoffman was inducted into Homewood’s Hall of Fame in October 2008. His first office was secretary of the village’s volunteer fire department, according to Elaine Egdorf, of the village’s historical society. He was a village trustee from 1977 to 1985 and mayor from 1985 to 1991.

He also served as Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Board president, a Rich Township trustee, a state representative from 1991 to 1993, as founder and president of the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Prairie State College Foundation.

Mr. Hoffman also was chairman of the Cook County Republican Party and was appointed chairman of the Illinois Labor Relations Board in 1993 by Gov. Jim Edgar and reappointed by Gov. George Ryan.

He was active in many civic and charitable organizations, including the board of directors of the Glenwood School for Boys, the Chicago Southland Area Cancer Support Center, Irons Oaks Foundation and the board of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.

“He and his wife Judy were really involved in a lot of philanthropic endeavors,” Homewood Mayor Rich Hofeld said. “They really gave back to the community.”

Mr. Hoffman and Hofeld served on the village board together for eight years, then ran against each other for mayor. Mr. Hoffman won.

“We may have been political rivals, but there was never any animosity, no hard feelings,” Hofeld said. “He sent me a birthday card for years. He was a Homewood institution.”

The village named a street after him — Hoffman Way, the old Center Street, which runs from 175th Street south to a dead end.

“He was very proud of that,” Larry Hoffman said.

“Personally, he taught me everything I needed to know about serving the community. ... You never knew who you were going to meet when you hung around with Manny,” Egdorf said, adding that he was friends with sports figures, politicians and celebrities. “... I will remember him because he was not afraid to try new things. He initiated a lot of fun events that put Homewood on the map.”

Mr. Hoffman moved to Sarasota permanently two years ago and had been in declining health, his son said. He said private services will be in Miami, with a memorial service to be scheduled this spring in the south suburbs.

In addition to his son, Mr. Hoffman is survived by two daughters, Debbie and Julie, and a grandson. His wife died in 2011.



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