Anthony John Hoffman

Anthony John Hoffman

March 04, 1956 - July 11, 2004

Anthony John Hoffman

March 04, 1956 - July 11, 2004


Anthony J. Hoffman, III passed away suddenly due to heart failure on Sunday, July 11, 2004 at a favorite beach near his home in Mission Viejo, California. AJ was a world renowned expert on antique locks and the history of interchangeable core cylinders and key systems. Fluent in six languages, AJ was also an accomplished linguist and musician, singing tenor and providing pronunciation guidance for Pacific Chorale, one of America’s most respected and accomplished professional choruses. He is survived by his wife Vivian.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM, Sunday, July 18th, 2004 at:
O?Connor Mortuary
25301 Alicia Pkwy
Laguna Hills, CA
Tel: 949-581-4300

A reception will follow.
There will also be a memorial service at the Associated Locksmiths of America ALOA Convention the following week.

The funeral and memorial will be a causal gathering to create a mosaic of memories of AJ’s life. If you have a memory that you would like to be part of the ceremony and cannot attend, feel free to send it via email to or use the guest register at
In lieu of flowers, Vivian would like to establish a scholarship fund to pass on AJ’s passion for locks and his love of learning to the next generation. Donations can be sent to


ALOA Scholarship Foundation
AJ Hoffman Memorial Education Fund
3003 Live Oak Street
Dallas, TX  75204

If you are using a check, please make it payable to the ALOA Scholarship Fund and add a memo on the check indicating that it is for the AJ Hoffman CML Memorial Education Fund. Information about the fund will be available in ALOA’s keynotes magazine.

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38 responses to Anthony John Hoffman

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  1. A.J. was a long time personal friend and colleague. His knowledge, experience and friendship is what kept me interested in the field of Locksmithing. We talked several times a month and in almost every discussion AJ taught me a little more about some facet of lock history or trade secret to overcome a problem. His door was always open and we often talked late into the night. I only wish we could have lived a little closer together as his trips to the Northwest were far and few. He will be dearly missed. My prayers and sympathy go out to Vivian and all his family. God Bless you all.

  2. I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed when i read all of the wonderful things everyone has written about one of my favorite cousins, AJ. While you all knew him as the incredible colleague and fellow collector, i knew him as the big goof who was already with a biting one liner that had us howling. it never mattered that he may have only had a few hours in town, whenever he was in Cleveland he’d always make it a point to call my Grandmother who would in turn call all of us to gather at her home to reminisce about the old days and catch up on the present. i’d try to keep him updated on our goings-on thru email, but seeing him in person was always a real treat, because nothing could rival the bear hugs and thousand watt smile he always had. The one thing i’ll forever regret is that he was in town for the last time the day before he died and i didn’t get to see him because of work. THe memories make me laugh, and our loss makes me cry, but AJ was definitely a one of a kind. AJ- thanks for helping me realize my ascerbic wit IS a family trait, that i am indeed the only short person in our family besides Aunt ‘Nez, and being quirky is never a bad thing. Our birthday week won’t be the same this year without knowing you’ll be celebrating on the other coast… i miss you !
    Love Always,
    your cousin

    1. Dave Davis says:

      Hello, my name is Dave Davis; A.J. and I grew up together on Fenwick Ave in Cleveland, Ohio, so you know I am for real. He was literally my brother and the adopted son of my parents. I don’t know why I looked-up this website of his obituary, other than I have never gotten over–pardon the grammar–of losing him. He visited me and my family in July 2004 and slept on my couch, as he always did, and went back to California and died the next day. I did not find out about his death until Sept of 2004. I don’t know why Vivian did not call/write me before then, other than the fact that I had a drinking problem earlier in my life, of which A.J. was well aware.
      This is not meant to be a downer; I never knew much about his family other than his mom was from Missouri. So, Christin, A.J. was someone special to me, since we were both only children, and connected about many things. If you would like to communicate, it would be a pleasure to share and realize the impact he had on us all.
      Best Wishes,

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