On Monday, September 6, 2021. Husband of the late Margaret Hoffman; loving father of Michael, Linda Hoffman and Bernadette (Neal) Vavrek; brother of the late Leroy Hoffman and Mary Margaret Ragle; grandfather of Lucas (Katie) Riley, Valerie Riley, Nicholas Hoffman, Ashley (Jon) Erny, Brianna (fiance, Curtis) and Monica Piontek; great-grandfather of Liam and Emma Riley, David Thomas Nelson and angel great-granddaughter, Daphne Erny.
Bernard spent 65 years with I.B.E.W. Local # 5 as an electrician. He was a proud decorated Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient, serving in World War II. Bernard was a dedicated volunteer at Oakland VA Hospital for 21 years. He was a member of the South Hills Marine Corps League, Scott Township American Legion Post 290, former charter member of the Wynnecliffe Manor Civil League, where he was Santa's Helper for 50+ years, and a life member of Teutonia Männerchor.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the SZAFRANSKI-EBERLEIN FUNERAL HOME, INC., where family and friends will be received on Monday, September 13, 2021 from 3-7 pm at 101 Third St., Carnegie. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Our Lady of Grace Church on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at 11 am. Burial will follow with Full Military Honors in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the Marine Toys For Tots or your favorite veterans organizations.
On behalf of Michael, Linda and Bernadette it is with a heavy heart that I stand before you to
memorialize the life and legacy of Bernard Hoffman. Dad, Pap, Pappy, Uncle Bernie, Bernie and Mr.
Hoffman. I also stand before you to echo the sentiments for the entire Hoffman family of the love,
admiration, respect and pride that we have for our Patriarch, We will each cherish these feelings
forever. As I look upon those gathered here today I sense that these feelings are also shared with many
Where do I begin to tell his story? A story that spanned 10 decades, 1137 months, 34,585 days. The
Great Depression, 17 Presidents, 7 Popes, 6 Wars, 6 Super Bowls, 5 Stanley cups and 3 World Series.
Those that had the pleasure to share conversations with Bernie can attest that he seemed to be able to
recount a story or two from each of those 1137 months.
Those that ever had the opportunity to shake Bernie’s hands can attest to the fact that he had strong,
workman’s hand. Hands that could tell you a story. A story written over 10 decades. Hands that
touched life every day for 95 years. Let me share with you the life of these hands and the story they tell.
Hands that shoveled coal into the furnace at his childhood home on Alice Street in Mount Oliver. Hands
that formed snowballs that he threw at his brother Leroy and sister Mary Margaret. Hands that joined
with his mother and siblings as she took the family to visit their Dad at his Baber Shop in Downtown
Hands that signed his enlistment papers in 1941 to join WWII at 16 years old. Hands that touched the
soil on Paris Island with every push up he did at boot camp, and proudly put on the uniform of the
United States Marine Corp. Hands that carried a flame thrower as he traversed the islands of the South
Pacific navigating through this foreign land constantly aware that his next step could be his last.
Hands that pumped fists in the air when the war ended and he returned to Mount Oliver to begin to
carve out a young adult life working as a bartender and cab driver. Hands that ran wire, drew diagrams,
drafted proposals and much more during a 65 year career as an IBEW Local 5 electrician.
Hands that lifted the veil of his beloved wife Marge at their wedding I 1956.. A marriage that spanned
58 years. Hands that cradled his children Michael, Linda and Bernadette and coddled his 6
grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. A Hand that shook the hand of would be suiters of his
daughters. A Firm and solid handshake were the only passing grade. Limp fish meant no chance for a
Hands that remodeled, painted, wired, poured concrete, pounded nails, installed windows and many
other projects whether it was at 49 Wynnecliffe or at the houses or businesses of family, neighbors,
friends, friends of family, friends of neighbor, friends of friends and many more.
Hands that lifted children onto Santa’s lap and passed out presents for over 50 years as one of Santa’s
helper for the Wynnecliffe Manor Civic League. For twenty one year’s hands that directed and guided
patients and families at the VA hospital. Hands that grasped the flags of the Marine Corps league during
his honor guard service, and hands that help carve out the American Legion Post 290 during his 60+ year
Hands that joined in dance as a life member of the Teutonia Mannerchor and rolled many a high game
as a life time bowler. Hands that enjoyed feeding the machines at the meadows, scratching tickets from
the PA lotter, and an occasional poker game. Hands that held out open palm on the receiving end of a
“more” than occasional big hit or winning hand at the friendly card game.
Hands that dipped many a brush into his paint palette as he created humble masterpieces that
exemplified his creativity and passion for life and beauty.
And hands that made his bed, every day (Semper Fe).
And finally Hands that joined with the chaplain and his children last Monday to join in prayer reciting the
Our Father and Hail Mary. And hands that reached out for the Lord’s grasp as he joined his family in
We love you and will cherish your memory forever.