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Richard Newell Hoffman

June 11, 2012
The Herald-Star

HOFFMAN, Richard Newell, Talented local resident and musician, passed away due to complications from cancer Saturday, June 9, 2012.

Richard or Rich as he was known to family and friends was born Sept, 17, 1953, to Elizabeth (Staley) Hoffman of New Cumberland and the late William Merle Hoffman.

Besides his father, he was also preceded in death by a sister, Sondra Marlene Price.

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For 38 years Richard was married literally to the girl next door who was his one true love Debra Gay (Martin) Hoffman. Together they built a handsome rustic log home and there raised two beautiful daughters Jennifer (Jay) Sanner and Beth (Ged) Walsh. Besides his loving mother, Elizabeth, he is also survived by three adoring sisters, Carol Pellegino of Sunrise, Florida, Merrill (Bob) Balderson of Elkins, W.Va., and Heidi (John) Adkins of Chester, W.Va. Richard loved being with family that includes many cousins, 14 nieces and nephews; eight great nieces and nephews.

A lifetime resident of New Cumberland, Richard started his musical training at the age of ten with a guitar inherited from his father. He continued learning and performing throughout his life. From garage rock bands to a variety of high school bands and instruments, music was never far from Richard.

A 1971 graduate of Oak Glen High School, he continued his musical interests beyond his youth. He helped to develop and performed as a lead vocalist and musician in the locally popular dance band "Court Street" for 15 years. Richard's true calling, however, was Bluegrass music, and he was a member and performer in the "Appalachian Folk Music Club" for many years. Finally, "Lonesome Heart," formed in 1993 showcased Richard's full talent. It was said that he was the man who wore many hats as he was a vocalist, booking agent as well as musician for the band that entertained audiences near and far with live performances as well as radio broadcasts and recorded works.

Richard knew no strangers and had an outstretched hand and a kiss for the ladies whether at a family gathering, a performance or a stroll through the sale at Rogers. He was proud to be a steelworker and was employed by Arcelor Mittal (Weirton Steel) for 40 years finishing as a Gang Leader of General Labor. Richard was a member of the Independent Steel Workers Union as well as an avid supporter of the Tomlinson Run Park Foundation.

Besides his musical interests, Rich enjoyed woodworking and being outdoors. He loved his family's land and spent many hours on the hill riding his tractors. He also was a gifted natural artist and created works in various meda including sketches and paintings. Rich's interests were vast and only overshadowed by his charm, talent and captivating sense of humor.

To honor Richard his family has established the Richard N. Hoffman Musical Endowment to fund musical projects and education for future generations.

Visitation will be held at the Nixon Funeral Home, New Cumberland, W.Va., tonight, Monday, June 11, 6-8 p.m and Tuesday , June 12, 2-8 p.m. with funeral services at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at the funeral home.

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