Our precious mom Arlene Miriam Hofferber left to be with the Lord and reunite with her family, at the age of 92, on June 27, 2020. She was born in Montana to Fred and Mary Hofferber. She is survived by two of her three daughters, Peggy McConnell and Penny McConnell, sibling Ed Hofferber and many nieces and nephews. Her sister Mary Cooper passed a few weeks after her on July 28th. She was predeceased by her siblings Fred, Lillian, Ruth, her aunt Ruth, and her oldest daughter Ginger McConnell.
Arlene grew up in the country. Despite the hard work of farm life, she managed to sow the seeds of her life-long passions. She often harmonized with her siblings as she hoed beets or yodeled to the cows in the field. She sang her entire life and her beautiful voice is a memory many of those who love her cherish.
Our loving and supportive mother got her first shot at being a “mom” on the farm when she and Lillian smuggled piglets into their room in the middle of the night (quickly curtailed as her mother turned to her dad in bed and said “do you hear pigs?”). She met her husband Albert McConnell Jr. at the Great Lodge in Yellowstone National Park, her first big job away from home and they soon had three little girls. She loved being our mom and devoted herself to her family. Gentle and kind with a playful sense of humor, we felt blessed to have her. We miss her terribly every day.
Another of her passions was art. Even after a backbreaking day in the fields she found time and energy to draw portraits and still lifes. She shared her love of art with us, inspiring our creative endeavors. She primarily painted in oil and watercolor. At one point we introduced her to a material we were practiced in only to immediately have the student become the teacher, the beauty of her work surpassing ours. She never stopped growing as an artist, going to museums and exhibits, even taking a trip to London with us in her 70s, to see the amazing collections. With her unerring sense of design, she was a trusted resource. She was always happy to “consult” on our projects, such as color choices for an earring while singing I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas as she sat in a rehab bed late last year.
We are planning a Celebration of Life next year with friends, neighbors and family. To honor her now, in lieu of flowers, if you’d like to, please share a memory. Even something as simple as remembering the rush to get a slice of one of her delicious apple pies at a reunion. We have a million sweet memories to call on, but you can never have too many.