BOULDER, Colo./ MADISON – “She walked in beauty like the night.” Thus proclaimed Rosemary Hoffman’s fellow students in one of her Edgewood High School yearbooks. Rosemary Hoffman’s beauty and light in this life were extinguished on Feb. 28, 2012, when she passed peacefully at the Balfour Hospice Center of Boulder and Broomfield Counties in Colo. Prior to her sudden illness, Rosemary had been residing at the Stratford Retirement Community in Broomfield, Colo.
She was born in Madison, on Oct. 17, 1922, and christened Rosemary Ann Springman by her loving parents, Theresa (Tessie) and William Springman. Rosemary married the love of her life, Francis (Fran) Hoffman on Dec. 28, 1948, and together they enjoyed the proverbial “American dream” for 50 years. Along with most of Fran’s brothers and their spouses, they created what has been dubbed the first non fast food chain of restaurants in the United States – the 17 Hoffman Houses that spread across the Midwest, and included Ishnala, a rustically elegant eatery set on a uniquely beautiful piece of property overlooking Mirror Lake near Wisconsin Dells. Rosemary had tremendous talent for decorating, and did much of the design work on many of the restaurants.
While at Edgewood, Rosemary took dramatic arts and was cast as the lead in both “Cinderella” and the play “Growing Pains”. She graduated from Edgewood with high honors in 1940. She went on to attend the University of Wisconsin. Rosemary also possessed a lovely voice and participated in the Madison Chorale for several years. She loved music throughout her lifetime, and could still entertain at the graceful age of 89 by singing entire songs from the era of her youth.
Rosemary enjoyed traveling and meeting new people, as well as helping those in need or distress, serving as an Attic Angel Volunteer for a number of years. Politics was also a passion and she wrote numerous letters to her elected representatives as well as to the editors of the Madison newspapers. She and her husband, Fran, were also devotees of the University of Wisconsin Badger Football program, and they donated time and money towards its success, enjoying all home games from their season ticket seats. Rosemary and Fran also shared a love of golf, and they were active members of Maple Bluff Country Club for decades. They were also longtime members of the Madison Club, and later became social members of Bishops Bay.
Upon retirement, they began wintering first in the Sarasota, Fla., area, but after a time, moved to Naples where they spent many happy years enjoying the company of fellow Madisonians.
Rosemary was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brother, Bill Springman of Middleton, and her sister, Lorraine Beyer of Madison. Carrying on her legacy are her three children, Susan Hoffman Armstrong of Missoula, Mont., Judy Hoffman of Boulder, Colo., and Roger Hoffman of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. She is also survived by her four grandchildren, Hadley Palmer of Dallas, Texas, Hillary Armstrong of Chicago, Ill., John and Alison Flehmer, both of Boulder, Colo., as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, September 14, 2012 at ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH, 5001 N. Sherman Ave., Madison, at 4:00 p.m.
She will be interred at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery next to her husband at the Hoffman Family tomb.
The family asks that anyone wishing to make contributions in memory of Rosemary do so to the Carbone Cancer Center at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the Hospice Center of Boulder and Broomfield Counties, and Edgewood High School of Madison.
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