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Emmett Anton Hofer

June 29, 1928 ~ September 24, 2017 (age 89)
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Emmett Anton Hofer Obituary

Emmett Anton Hofer was born on June 29th, 1928 in Huron, South Dakota.  His father, John Hofer was a lawyer, who along with his mother, Mary, farmed the land.  In 1929 the stock market crash occurred, followed by the drought and dust bowl.  In 1932 the family left their farm and moved to Dinuba, California to start afresh.  Two years later his father died of a sudden heart attack shortly after Emmett’s sixth birthday.  His mother was now left with nine children.  They bought a five acre farm and began to literally live off the land.  At fourteen years of age, with Emmett’s two older brothers gone from the home, he became the male head of the house.   He rose early to milk the cow, then off to school followed by sports practice and then, because the school buses were done for the day, he walked and ran the five miles home to again milk the cow and tend to other farm chores.  The harsh conditions of his life developed a life- long practice of hard work.

Following high school, a year in college and work, he enlisted in the Navy during the Korean War.  While studying in electronics school, on leave back in Dinuba, he met Reta Conrad, daughter of the Church of God pastor.  Three months later on March 30th, 1951, they were married.

After seven months of marriage he was shipped to Japan for two years.  While there he had an experience with God that became the defining moment of his life.  One night, while in prayer, he had an encounter with God that he could only describe as liquid waves of love lasting for two hours.  That experience changed him and others noticed.  The captain of the ship instructed him to begin worship services, and because he wasn’t a chaplain, the US Navy made him an acting chaplain, the first in Navy history.

After his discharge he sensed a call to the ministry and moved to Portland, OR to study theology at Pacific Bible College.  While a student, in 1955, he and Reta had their only son, Brent.  After graduation in 1957, he began a fifty year ministry career, divided into three seasons.  As a senior pastor, he pastored churches in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California.  The next season of his life was as an associate pastor in Wichita, KS, Olympia, WA and Oregon City, OR where he worked primarily in discipleship.  The last season of his ministry was as an interim pastor in Cottage Grove, St Helens, Rainer, Long View and Husum.

His next to last work was to become the maintenance man at North Clackamas Christian School where his two granddaughters were in grade school.  For six years he was able to see them five days a week while he maintained the campus. He retired at the age of 84.

He had no real hobbies in life.  Rather, he had his passions.  Number one was experiencing God.  Beyond that he loved to pastor and he loved spending time with Reta and Brent.  Once his granddaughters, Ellie and Nikki, were born he invested his life in them.   Finally, he loved to build.  He was an accomplished builder and built three beautiful homes for Reta during their years together.

On Sunday, September 24th, at around 3 pm, while talking with Reta, he got up to get a drink of water from the sink.  Suddenly, he slumped to the floor and passed away.  He was 89 years old.

He leaves behind Reta, his wife of 66 years, his son Brent along with his daughter-in-law Sherry, and two granddaughters, Ellie and Nikki, all of Oregon City.  Additionally he has two surviving sisters, Margie and Annie of California and his brother Jonas, also of California along with 35 nieces and nephews.  Arrangement by Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud.

 Service Information

October 2, 2017

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud Funeral Service
715 7th St
Oregon City, OR 97045

Celebration of Life
October 3, 2017

11:00 AM
Lynchwood Church of God
3818 SE 174th Ave
Portland, OR 97236

Military Honors
October 3, 2017

2:00 PM
Willamette National Cemetery
11800 SE Mt Scott Blvd
Portland, OR 97086

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