Homer Alaska - Obituaries

Story last updated at 3:57 PM on Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Henry 'Hank' Hofeling

Dec. 15, 1928-Nov. 11, 2011


Henry 'Hank' Hofeling

Henry (Hank) Hofeling died Nov. 11, 2011. He was born on Dec. 15, 1928, in Oketo, Kansas. Hank and his wife Betty met when they were 14 years old in Nebraska. In the farming days, kids started driving when they were 12 years old. Hank would pick Betty up for a date on one of those 1940's 9N tractors.

Hank and Betty married on Nov. 17, 1947, in Beatrice, Neb. Hank was in the military and while in the barracks he heard over the loud speaker that there was an opening in Japan and Alaska. Hank rushed to the office and signed up for Alaska. Hank served in the Air Force and was involved in the Korean Conflict. He also served in the Air National Guard in Anchorage.

They traveled the Alaska Highway in 1953 to Alaska. After Hank got out of the military, they stayed in Anchorage and raised a family of seven children (Dennis, Rick, Vicki, Kathy, Connie, Sandra and Toy).

Hank and Betty homesteaded at Knik across from Anchorage. Hank would fly his plane back and forth with Betty and the kids from the homestead to Anchorage. They lived in a cabin they built and didn't have the modern conveniences we have today.

In the 1960s, Hank opened the first outdoor theater on Muldoon in Anchorage, which was called the Billikin Theatre.

Hank and Betty moved to Homer in 1975, because Homer was the place they always wanted to retire. While in Homer, Hank started two businesses, Jack and Jill Water and Homer Honey Bear. In later years, they took over the care of the Senior Housing in Palmer.

"On a more spiritual side, Hank liked reading the Bible and when you walked into their house the Bible was always on the living room table. Dad liked sending his children the 'Daily Bread,' which gives an uplifting spiritual story or thought," wrote his family.

Hank is survived by his wife, Betty, and seven children: Dennis Hofeling, Rick Wright, Vicki Brown, Kathy Johnson, Connie Geagel, Sandra Cooper and Toy Bairamis, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is survived by his older sisters Margaret Norris and Waunita Leseburg. He was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Ann Hofeling, his older brother Johnny Hofeling, his older sister Edna Powell, and Chester Hofeling, who died at birth.