Richard Allen Hoefer

Richard Allen Hoefer

June 08, 1930 - December 01, 2013

Richard Allen Hoefer

June 08, 1930 - December 01, 2013


Richard Allan Hoefer

Rick passed away quietly in his sleep, December 1, 2013, after months of natural decline when someone has lived as long as their body will permit. That’s how life works. However, he once said, ‘I did not live a normal life. I did not allow it to be normal.’ And that is true.

Rick was born in Chicago, Illinois, June 8, 1930. At the age of 5 the family moved to Overland Park, Kansas.. He enjoyed living in the country. Besides his parents, his family was his dog, Tubby, two goats, and chickens. Everyasparagus season he sold asparagus along the highway. When he was 11 the family moved back to Chicago.

There he worked at a Chinese laundry for 5 years for Mr. King. It began his love of different cultures. Rick attended Lane Tech in Chicago and did well in his studies and music along with being the president of the Motorcycle Club.He owned an Indian and a Harley. Rick studied clarinet under Domenic Dicaprio and he received a music scholarship to Arizona State University. He was there for one year but jobs were too hard to find so he returned to North Western University in Chicago and majored in business.

The Korean War was still in progress and as a junior he chose to go into the military as an officer candidate. He took the Navy pilots test and was accepted into cadets at Pensacola. He served 23 years and flew the F6 Grummanamongst many others. He flew off the USS Intrepid when it was in the Mediterranean. Rick was on active duty for 5 years and 18 in the reserves. He retired as a Commander.

In 1956 he joined United Air Lines where his love of flying continued. He was first based in Chicago where he met his wife, Marie Kendal, a stewardess for United Airlines. Since she was a California girl he transferred to Los Angeles before they were married. They were married 54 years and had four children. Steve is married to May and they have two daughters Sina and Ploey. Steve is a first officer on the 747-400 for United Air Lines. Mark, his twin, is an artist who owns a restaurant in Pacific Beach called Pasta Espresso. Dan is married to Ying. He is a Family Physician and CMO for Outpatient Palliative Care for the largest healthcare organization in San Diego. Teri and her partner, Erin, have two boys, Badger and Vito. Teri owns Owl and the Dove Montessori School in Portland, OR. A desire to travel and see the world was instilled in them by Rick.

This eventually led to Ricks involvement in AFS, American Field Service, a student exchange program. The family hosted four students, one every other year until Teri was a sophomore in high school. The students stayed for a year, learned our culture and they learned theirs. It inspired Rick to learn Japanese and he studied it diligently even in retirement, actually studying in Japan off and on for 2 years. He would use it in his Captain announcements too when he flew Japan trips.

The cultures became of utmost interest for Rick so the family was also liaison for 24 other
foreign students. Rick was a letter writer and even better with e-mail. He kept in touch with everyone. When wedding invitations arrived from Austria, Japan, Israel or Russia they were accepted. Rick’s last years were spent interacting with Russian high school students in Protvino, Russia. He coached students in cultural similarities, differences and English pronunciation. This was all done on Skype. During Ricks illness everyone visited.vThey came from Japan, Austria, Thailand, Russia, Greenland, Belgium, Canada, Turkey, Germany, Mexico and France. He loved the world.

Rick is survived by his wife, four children, two daughter-in-laws and four grandchildren.

‘A Celebration of Life’ will be held January 4, 2014. at the home of the Hoefer’s, 24366 Totuava Cir, Mission Viejo 92691, from 1 to 4 in the afternoon. Please RSVP to 949-830-7516 or 949-533-0145.

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17 responses to Richard Allen Hoefer

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  1. Teri Relyea says:

    I miss you Dad! You’re going to love your “Celebration of Life Party” there will be Navy representatives there presenting a flag to Mom an they will play Taps for you and 5 t-34’s the planes you flew are going to do a “Missing Man fly-by” it’s going to be AWESOME & Beautiful! You’ll love it! I’m apologizing now for any tears cause I know you don’t want everyone to be sad; its just going to be a perfect respectful start to your party! My first beer will be for you! I promise to never stop learning Dad! I Love You! -Teri

  2. Steve Hoefer says:

    I want to share a letter I wrote to Dad in April 2013. Steve

    Hi Dad,

    I have to write this letter. I have been trying to find the right words and the right time to tell you simply that I love you. But it seems so difficult to find that special moment. And honestly I would probably choke up and not be able to talk. But nobody can stop me from writing this letter except probably Ploey. So I am turning to this modern technology to convey some of my feelings and will just let the words flow. I won’t remember everything I want to say but so be it.
    First and foremost thank you for all you have done for me and the family. For putting a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. Thanks for putting us through college. And supporting and getting my flying career off the ground. Flying big planes across oceans to foreign places is something I dreamed of doing and I am doing it because of you.
    Thanks for instilling a love of music in us. Thanks for stuffing a clarinet in our mouths when we were 7 and making us practice 30 minutes every day. And for getting me a sax and flute. Music has brought so much joy into my life . Again because of you. High School was so much fun because of music and all of the activities. Marching Band, Jazz and Wind ensemble, pit orchestra , pep band to name just a few. In college playing in Hearts Afire and especially The One Heart Band brought me so much happiness. Unique experiences that I will cherish forever.
    Thanks for all the travel experiences . As you know I love travel and exploring the world. Thanks for planting those seeds. Remember our trip to Guatemala? Of course. That is where I learned what bananas really taste like. Heaven with cream and sugar. Remember I learned that C on the shower faucet does not mean cold in spanish speaking countries.
    Thank you for creating a community of friends around the world through the foreign exchange programs and other friendships that you nurtured. You have expanded the size of our family through these friendships. I am so grateful for this and realize how lucky we are to have these friends. I intend to help nurture these friendships well into the future. We are rich because of these relationships.
    And I will take this moment to admit that some of your bad jokes are actually clever and funny. Ha!
    Ah! I almost forgot. I wanted to say thanks for teaching us tolerance. And not teaching us prejudice. We never heard directly or indirectly any words of prejudice from you or mom as we grew up. In an era and a world where racism is so rampant I want to say thanks. The best thing is you did it unknowingly.
    So there are some of my thoughts. I only teared up once. And managed to compose some of the letter as Ploey drew pictures of flying coconuts next to me.

    I love you Dad. See you on Friday. Steve

  3. Steve Hoefer says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Check the link above, “Obituary and Service ” for more information about Dad. On January 4, we are having a “Celebration of Life” from 1 pm to 4 pm at the house in Mission Viejo. 24366 Totuava Circle, 92691
    Thanks, Steve

  4. Steve Hoefer says:

    Here is a letter Dad wrote to RUPA,Retired United Pilots Association, in April, 2013.

    Rick Hoefer — Mission Viejo, CA

    Whoa ,Whoa !!! Don’t hang up. I apologize for last year’s excruciatingly long letter. I had just been told that the average longevity for someone with my condition was 4 months to 4 years and I wanted to share why my family, rich and poor, was so happy. “Sharing”, that’s all.

    Our extravagances were travel and our Cessna 172 that we bought in 1978. I wanted a 182 with pontoons but that wasn’t “practical”.

    Marie flew her first “Powder Puff Derby” when Teri was 4 months old. We didn’t waste any time.

    Our kids all got to fly around the world when they were 20. We joined Teri in Madrid after we got mugged by a couple of young hungry Moroccans. We then went to New Delhi to catch the “Palace on Wheels” steam train and tour Northern India. Every year was fun.

    I just talked to our Mexican gardener, Angel. He has been doing our yard for a back breaking 41 years. Our Mexican house cleaners have also been with us for 41 years . We have shared their births and deaths and weddings. The kids lost their abuela (grandma) due to inadequate medical care. They missed her and asked their Mom if they could have another. She said “Who?” They said , “Señora Maria”. She said “Why her?” “Because she’s so nice”. That’s why I get so upset when people who are ignorant in these matters say derogatory things about other ethnic groups.

    We are a product of our background. I guess working 7 days a week for 3 years when I was 11, 12 and 13 as the only round eye in Mr. King’s store helped form my base. I feel sorry for people who have experienced only one culture. They don’t know what they are missing. Enough? Yes, enough.

    I’m proud to have been part of the aviation community. Rick

  5. Steve Hoefer says:

    Dad with Sina and Ploey

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