Lehr, ND-Funeral Service for Gary Lee Hoffman, 68, of Lehr will be 10:30 am, Friday, October 15, 2021, at Zion Lutheran Church, Ashley. Deacon Deb Cantrell will officiate. The service will be live streamed and available at www.Carlsenfh.com under Gary’s obituary.
Burial will be in Bethany II Lutheran Cemetery, rural Lehr.
There will be a prayer service Thursday at 7:00 pm with visitation from 5:00-7:00 pm at the funeral home.
Gary died October 9, 2021, at Essentia Health Fargo.
Gary was born July 13, 1953, to Christ and Mary (Wolf) Hoffman in Ellendale, ND. He grew up on the family farm 12 miles northeast of Ashley. He began his education in a country school for three years, then continued his education at Ashley Public Schools, graduating with the class of 1972. He went on to attend Bismarck State College on a wrestling scholarship, studying agriculture.
Gary was united in marriage to Denise Fleck on May 27, 1973, in Zion Lutheran Church, Ashley. Together, they raised two children, Greta, and Josh. After college, he returned to Lehr and farmed with this brothers, Clarence, and Ervin. His love of farming and agriculture brought him back to farming. He wanted to have a family and children were more important than pursuing a career in competitive wrestling on the international level. Gary was currently raising cattle and over the years had run a feeder pig operation. He was always there to help others.
Wrestling was a sport he enjoyed in high school and through college. While Gary was in high school, he won two state championship titles at 145 lbs. and 155 lbs. and in college he won two national championship titles at 150 lbs. and 158 lbs. Post college he was inducted into the ND Wrestling Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK. Over the years he has been an iconic figure in the North Dakota wrestling community. He kept in close contact with the sport into adulthood by giving his time as a coach for Ashley-Wishek high school wrestling. His teams have gone on to earn many awards and won two state championship titles.
There was nothing as important to Gary in his life as his grandchildren. All of his time spent with them was so precious to him. He loved time spent around the many bonfires held in the family tree line and enjoyed teaching them all about farm life. Gary was a private person although he loved his telephone conversations with family and friends. He shared his knowledge and experience through stories to others.
Grateful for having shared Gary’s life are his son, Josh (Sheena) and his five grandchildren, Gracie, Brody, Vada, Autumn, and Holden Hoffman of Lehr; daughter, Greta Hoffman of Minneapolis, MN; brother, Ron (Sandy) Hoffman of Jamestown, ND; sister, Marion Hoffman of Denver, CO and special friend, Kristy Glaesman of Lehr.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Ervin, and Clarence and three sisters, Leona, LaVina and Diana.
Honorary Casketbearers will be the 1998-1999 Ashley-Wishek Wrestling Team.
Casketbearers will be Josh Hoffman, Gracie Hoffman, Brody Hoffman, Tony Hoffman, Ryan Hoffman, and Derrick Glaesman.
Memorials to South Border Mustang Wrestling Club, PO Box 324, Wishek, ND 58495.
Carlsen Funeral Home of Ashley has been entrusted with arrangements.