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J. Michael Hoffman, 67

JULY 25, 1944-JULY 24, 2012

August 07, 2012

J. Michael Hoffman was born July 25, 1944, in Hagerstown, Md. He departed this life at home in Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 24, 2012.

Mike grew up in Hagerstown, graduating from North Hagerstown High School in 1962. He attended Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., receiving a bachelor's degree in 1966. He then attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, receiving his M.D. in 1970. Following medical school, Mike attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, majoring in anthropology, earning his M.A. in 1972, and Ph.D. in 1973.

Mike's professional career included faculty positions at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, 1973 to 1974, the University of California at Berkeley, 1974 to 1977, and the Colorado College in Colorado Springs, from 1977 until his retirement in 2009.

Mike was a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and was certified as a forensic anthropologist by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. In this capacity, he worked with county coroners' offices across the state of Colorado, assisting with the identification of human skeletal remains and determining cause of death. He was pleased to help families find closure after losing a family member, often in a violent setting.

Mike and Merla R. Howk were married May 22, 1971. They shared more than 41 years at one another's sides, rarely being apart, particularly during Mike's final years of declining health following a severe illness in 2001. Mike and Merla have one daughter, Elizabeth, the apple of her father's eye and a kindred spirit when it came to photography and all things technological.

Mike was preceded in death by his father, R. Paul Hoffman; his younger sister, Ann Louise Bagley; and his father-in-law, Merle R. Howk.

Mike is survived by his wife, Merla; daughter, Elizabeth; mother, Mary V. Hoffman; mother-in-law, Helen G. Howk; sister, Susan Snyder and her husband, Jim; along with a host of family, friends, colleagues and students.

Memorials may be made to Pike's Peak Hospice Foundation, Colorado Springs; the library funds of the anthropology departments of Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, or the University of Colorado, Boulder; the Forensic Sciences Foundation, Colorado Springs; or to the charity of a giver's choice.

A celebration of life gathering will be held to honor Mike at a later date.

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