Dr. Charles Russell Hoffer, 87, died peacefully in his home on Monday, May 3, 2017, from an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. Charles was born in Lansing, Michigan on December 12, 1929, to Charles Russell Hoffer and Luella Holmes Hoffer.
Charles earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from Michigan State University. He received his Masters Degree in Music Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and his Ph.D. in Music and Higher Education from Michigan State. He taught 14 years in the public schools of Michigan, New York, and Missouri including the State University of New York’s College for Teachers at Buffalo, before joining the faculty of Indiana University at Bloomington as a Professor in 1966. He moved to the University of Florida in 1984 and served as head of Music Education from 1984 to 1996. He retired from the University as Professor Emeritus in 2013 after 29 years. He also taught summer sessions at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the University of Michigan.
Throughout his life Charles was a prolific author and brilliant professor of music education. His 45 textbooks, including revisions, are standard in numerous Universities in America and throughout the world. He brought a great passion to his writing and teaching and was an expert in both classroom and in online instruction. Decades ago his textbooks in music appreciation were the first to introduce listening guides, which are now standard in all music appreciation textbooks. His Music Listening Today was the first to offer ancillary active listening guides.
Charles has received numerous awards for his contributions to music and music education. He was inducted into the Florida Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Music Educators Hall of Fame in 2006. His numerous professional activities include President of the Indiana Music Educators Association, President of the North Central Division of Music Educators National Conference, and National President of the largest professional organization for music educators, MENC (now National Association for Music Education NAfME) from 1988-1990. He served on the committees that wrote the National Standards in Music and the Sunshine State Standards for Florida. Charles has spoken or conducted clinics in almost every state. He was also active in the International Society for Music Education, during which time he presented research at conferences in Moscow, London, Tunis, Christchurch, Mexico City, and Canberra, as well as hosting its research conference in Bloomington. He has had many articles published in the “Music Educators Journal,” “The Council for Research in Music Education Bulletin,” the “Florida Music Director,” which he edited for five years, and the “Handbook of Research of Music Teaching and Learning.”
Charles is survived by his loving wife, Mimi; his sister, Clarice Thompson (Jack); two children, Allan Hoffer (Debra) and Martha Teater (Don); six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A prayer service and viewing will be held at Holy Faith Catholic Church from 7-8 pm on Monday, May 8th. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Church on Tuesday, May 9th at 9:30 am. Those who wish may make a donation to Holy Faith Catholic Church in memory of Dr. Charles Hoffer.
Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Home, Gainesville, Florida (352-378-2528). To leave online condolences, please visit www.forestmeadowsfh.com.
Charles was one of my all time favorite past national presidents at MENC (now NAfME) 1988-1990. He was a jewel. I admired him so much. We worked closely all these years and had many laughs. I will hold all of you in my heart and prayers. He was a great man and we were all so blessed to have him in our lives. Marlynn Likens, NAfME
Having just started at this small, Christian liberal arts college, I was dissatisfied with our previous Music Appreciation text. I wanted to instill the love of classical music that has fed my soul this last 40 years, and, this Spring semester, started using the Hoffer/Bailey 6th Edition of Music Listening Today. The change in overall grades (rising from @’C’ to ‘B+/A-‘) and the greater grasp of musical knowledge from the class on their final exam essays, can only be attributed to Dr. Hoffer’s marvelous way of breaking down this formidable mass of data into ‘bite-size’ chunks the students can grasp. Thank you Dr. Hoffer.
“In Paradisum, deducant angeli,
in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres;
Et perducant te in civitatem sanctam,
Jerusalem.” – Faure Requiem