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May 25, 2017

Henry Tice Hoffman … retired New Jersey chemist, 91, had family associations in Lake City dating to 1875.


Lake City native Henry Tice Hoffman, who died in New Jersey, age 91, last month, was regarded as a local boy who proved his hometown proud in the outside world. Hoffman and his slightly older contemporary, the late Dr. David Green (1914-1989), were both alums of the Lake City Public School and both went on to obtain doctorate degrees in chemistry, both potentially inspired by long-time Lake City school principal Prof. H.G. Heath. Locally known as Tice and to family as “Hank,” Hoffman had a distinguished local family history dating back to the arrival of both his paternal and maternal grandparents in the 1870s. And, as an interesting side note, he was also distantly related to the pioneer Youmans family, present-day ancestors in both Powderhorn and Gunnison. An accomplished letter writer, Tice wrote occasional letters to SILVER WORLD through the years, each letter expressing pride in ongoing changes in his old hometown and often expressing indignation when Lake City was omitted or incorrectly identified in newly published map atlases. He and his wife, Caro,l frequently returned to Lake City to see familiar sights and visit with his aged parents, his father, the Lake City general store proprietor, celebrating his 100th birthday here in 1986. Tice and Carol also returned to visit his cousins, Marian and Dan Hall, and more distantly related members of the Youmans and Dr. B.F. Cummings families. Even at long distance and with failing eyesight, Tice kept up with Lake City and on a weekly basis his daughter, Julie Mindnich, would read SILVER WORLD articles. Tice had lived in Illinois and, most recently, New Jersey, the majority of his career and retirement. Following the death of his wife, Carol, he moved closer to family at Rumson, New Jersey, and after a fall was resident of an assisted living facility in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, where he died January 9, 2017. A memorial service was held at Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Presbyterian Church on January 14, 2017. Burial services were private, memorial donations in his name suggested to the Lawrenceville church, 2688 Main Street, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, or charity of choice. Son of the late Henry T. Hoffman, Sr., and Edna Beam Hoffman, Henry Tice Hoffman was born in Lake City on September 14, 1925. Dr. B.F. Cummings officiated at the 7:30 a.m. home birth which took place at the Hoffman family residence located at the west end of Third Street on Bluff Street. At their marriage in Lake City in 1911, both of Tice’s parents — Edna Beam and Henry Hoffman — were Lake City natives

Lake City native Henry Tice Hoffman received his Doctorate in Chemistry and worked 32 years for the American Can Co.

Tice and his wife, Carol Weigle Hoffman, above, in a formal, post-retirement photograph; Mrs. Hoffman died in 2012.

 

Tice in his later years after moving to Rumson and, later, Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

with a multi-generation local background. Edna’s Beam’s parents, Thomas L. and Margaret Beam, were among Lake City’s earliest residents, arriving here by covered wagon from Kansas in August, 1875. Mr. Beam was a sawyer and saw mill proprietor whose works included the celebrated Denver & Rio Grande ‘High Bridge’ north of Lake City and the massive wooden interior beams which still support the roof of the Armory. Tom Beam was also co-discoverer of the famous Golden Wonder Mine on Dead Man’s Gulch near Lake City. Tice’s paternal grandfather was one of Lake City’s earliest physicians, Dr. David S. Hoffman, who opened one of Lake City’s first drug stores, City Pharmacy in what is now Lake City Park, with H.C. James in 1877. Dr. Hoffman was elected State Representative representing Hinsdale and neighboring counties in 1883 and toward the end of his long medical career was one of five or more physicians operating out of Lake City Hospital on the Ball Flats. He married Ida Youmans, sister of Lake City and Cebolla pioneer Harry Youmans, in Lake City in 1885. Their son, Henry — Tice’s father — was schooled at Culter Academy and Colorado College, Colorado Springs, and for the majority of his career conducted a general merchandise store in the old Swanson House building at the corner of Silver and Third streets. Henry and Edna Hoffman were the parents of four children, of whom Tice, the only son, was the last surviving. Tice’s elder sisters, all deceased, were Marian Katrine Wood (1915-1985), Edna Jane Norton (1917-2002), and Ruth Eleanor Howard (1919-2001). Among Tice’s earliest memories was sitting on a tall stool in front of a standup desk located near the entrance to his father’s general merchandise store. The store, as recalled by Tice years later, consisted of counters on either side of walls leading back to the rear of the store where the meat dept. was located. The meat display case was cooled with ice which required a daily trip to dig out a block of ice from a store house on upper Silver Street. The Hoffman General Store was an integral part of the Hoffman children’s adolescence, Tice recalling that he and his sisters “became clerks in the store as soon as we could make change.” Tice began school in Lake City and as a 1st Grade student with a young widow teacher, Edna Watson Freeman, who later married Vernie Ramsey. Mrs. Freeman concentrated on the Thornton W. Burgess animal books and the daily highlight for Tice and his fellow 1st Graders “was when Mrs. Freeman would read to us.” “I can remember only one time when she was upset with me,” Tice wrote in 1988. “She had passed out sheets with a Santa Claus figure for us to color with crayons. I colored his arm green and she was somewhat upset with this.” His later teachers in the Lake City school were Margaret Cummings, Lucy Beam from 5th through 8th Grade, and Prof. Heath for two years in high school prior to transferring to Gunnison High School. Tice’s fellow 8th Grade classmates in 1938 were Florence Baker, Howard Vickers, Bill Griffiths, Bill Disney, and Bobby Steinbeck. Following graduation from Gunnison High School in 1942, Tice entered Western State College, receiving his Bachelors Degree in Chemistry in May, 1946, under the tutelage of Dr. Reinhardt Schuhmann. Dr. Schuhmann encouraged Tice to continue his education toward a Doctorate in Chemistry. Based on Schuhmann’s recommendation, Tice was accepted to teaching fellowships at both Purdue University and University of Iowa, receiving his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the latter in August, 1950. During his college career in Gunnison, Tice served as president of his sophomore and junior classes and assisted at both the Top O’ the World student newspaper and Curecanti yearbook. He additionally served as president of both Theta Tau Omega fraternity and Epsilon Rho Epsilon honory scientific fraternity, and was vice president of the student affiliated chapter of the American Chemistry Society. Tice married Carol Jean Weigle on April 14, 1956. Immediately after receiving his Chemistry Doctorate, Tice began work as a research chemist at the American Can Company, first in Maywood and then Barrington, Illinois. He transferred to their new research facility in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1964 and settled the family at Lawrenceville. He retired in 1982 after 32 years of service. Tice subsequently spent two years at the Mobil Environmental and Health Science Laboratory in Pennington, New Jersey, followed by 11 years in the Office of Quality Assurance in the Department of Environmental Protection for the State of New Jersey. During his career he was the author of several publications and patents. Dr. Hoffman is best known for his invention of the viscous fluid dispenser still used today by Cheese Whiz and other canned food products. Although generally known as Tice through school years, in order to differentiate himself from his father, Henry, Tice gradually became known as Hank. After marriage, he briefly toyed with naming his newborn son Henry Tice Hoffman the fourth, “but Carol would have none of that.” Hank and Carol were the parents of three children — a son and two daughters — who, with their spouses, survive: Thomas Hoffman and his wife, Freddy Ferrufino, of Alexandria, Virginia, Julie and John Mindnich of Lavallette, New Jersey, and Heidi and Scott Servilla of Rumson, New Jersey. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Monica Levine and Timothy Mindnich; Dylan and Brett Servilla, and Carlos Ferrufino. In addition to his parents and wife, Carol Weigle Hoffman, who died May 14, 2012, Tice was predeceased by his three older sisters. He was a member of Sigma Xi, and a 50 year plus member of the American Chemical Society. He was active in the Eastern Analytical Symposium and the local Trenton Chapter of the American Chemical Society. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville for 52 years. He served as the church treasurer, trustee, deacon, and elder. Additionally, he was active in community affairs. He served on the Shade Tree Advisory Committee of Lawrence Township. He was a member of the Lawrence Township Conservation Foundation and active in promoting the inclusion of Lawrence Township in the Crossroads of the American Revolution Program. He is remembered by his family and friends as being the most wonderful, ethical, and kind man.

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