SARA WITHEROW HOFFMAN (SALLY)
Sara Witherow Hoffman, PhD, died peacefully on December 19, 2014 at the University
of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL. Sally was born September 1, 1943 to
Richard Thompson Hoffman and Marguerite Kinser Hoffman in Alexandria, LA. She was
a 1961 graduate of East High School in Memphis, TN. In 1966, Sally graduated with
Honors with a BS in Physics from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College).
She was the first woman to earn a degree in Physics from Southwestern at Memphis. In
1968, she earned her Masters of Science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville
followed by her Doctorate in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Florida in
Sally was a Professor of Astronomy and Physical Sciences at Santa Fe College in
Gainesville for 40 continuous years from 1974 until her death. It was Sally’s goal to
have a state-of-the-art planetarium built on the Santa Fe Campus, and she was
instrumental in the development of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium which now serves the
College and all of Gainesville. Sally enjoyed organizing outdoor astronomy viewing
events for the public throughout the year and was an active member of several
Astronomy and Physical Sciences organizations.
She is survived by her brother, Richard T. Hoffman, Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth Mims
Hoffman of Collierville, TN; her nephew, Richard T. Hoffman III, and his wife, Sarah
Shepard Hoffman; and a great nephew, Brooks Shepard Hoffman, all of San Rafael,
Plans for a memorial service in Gainesville are incomplete. The family requests any
memorials be made to Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83rd St, Gainesville, FL 32606 or to
Church of the Holy Communion (Episcopal) at 4546 Walnut Grove Rd, Memphis, TN
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