Meredith Richard “Mert” Hoffman, 92, rounded the bases for the final time and slid safely into home at 12:17 p.m., June 9, 2020 at the Toledo St. Vincent Medical Center.
Mert was born September 15, 1927 in Maple Grove, Ohio, to Robert Harold and Vesta Lenore (Kindle) Hoffman. On June 11, 1960 he married Marilyn Channels in the Fort Seneca United Church of Christ.
Mert is survived by his wife, Marilyn of Tiffin; a son, Stanly L. of Fort Seneca; a brother, Robert “Bobby” Hoffman of Fountain Hills, AZ.; four nieces and three nephews. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Beverly “Bev” Swickard and Marilyn Martin.
A 1946 graduate of Old Fort High School, Mert was one of the best athletes ever to grace the Stockader baseball diamond, basketball court and track oval.
Immediately after graduation he entered the U.S. Army and was stationed in occupied Japan – one year after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While there, Mert’s athletic prowess earned him a place on the Army’s traveling fastpitch softball team that toured Japan, playing exhibition games for the troops.
After the service he was invited to try out for the Cleveland Indians. He relinquished his dream of playing in the majors because his time on the field was sorely lacking. Being a benchwarmer wasn’t his idea of a professional baseball career.
Mert returned to Fort Seneca and spent the next 35½ years working at the Basic Refractories quarry in Maple Grove, just a stone’s throw from where he was born when his parents lived in the company housing. He retired in 1983.
Mert was a sweet, loving and kind man of faith, who didn’t like to speak ill of anyone. An impeccable artist and wood carver, he epitomized the quote: “A life well lived is the most exquisite work of art.”
Funeral services for Mert will be 11 a.m. on Monday, June 15, 2020 at the Engle-Shook Funeral Home & Crematory in Tiffin, with Pastor Dave Hudson officiating. Visitation for family and friends also will be held at the funeral home on Monday, from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Burial will follow at Pleasant Union Cemetery in Old Fort, with military rites being rendered by the United Veterans Council.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Old Fort Little League or the Heartland Hospice Day Camp program fund. The day camps are for children who have lost a loved one to cancer.
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