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

  1. Beuce Dunkle says:

    2 files added to the tribute wall

  2. Ross Aimer says:

    A true gentleman aviator.
    May his flight west be peaceful and calm.

    Ross Aimer
    UAL Ret.

  3. steve hoefer says:

    Thanks Rusty,great to meet you. Still miss your union articles. Never been the same. Steve

  4. Steve Hoefer says:

    I was always hoping for Dad to give me one last request or piece of advice and he had only one ,Please visit Russia as soon as you can, and see our friends. Here is another beautiful letter from our Russian friend Maria Chermnykh.

    I wanted Russia to be represented at the celebration of Rick’s life, too. It really was part of his life.

    This is what I would say about my friend Rick if I was there,,.

    If somebody believes in miracles , here is one. And the name to it is Rick Hoefer.

    He changed our life in many ways. And more importantly , he helped us see the beauty of our country through his vision. We spent more time on the phone than the closest relatives would, and there was always something new to hear and learn. There seemed to be no miles or continents between us and the more we talked the more we realized how similar we were. The conversation invariably started with: “What’s for dinner?”, because we knew exactly what we were doing at a certain time. It was evening in Russia while the day only broke in California. So, you would imagine him sitting there ready to share your meal with you. Whatever questions I had about America there was always an answer, no matter what area you touched. I always wondered how one person could be a musician , a pilot, an artist and a great family man. He made friends with my students because his mind was always young. One person created a whole network and did more than any international organization would do just because of his great way of thinking. The message he wanted us all to get is that instead of talking about differences between people we should point out our similarities. It’s amazing how much one person can do. He would always break the stereotypes. Hundreds of people in Russia got to know American people and they will think they are all like Rick. Intelligent, professional, inquisitive, loving, caring friendly,..Here Rick would chuckle and say : Ha,and then,Oh, Maria, you don’t know,,

    Maria Chermnykh

    Beautiful! Thank you Maria, so well put. We will see you in Russia in June. Love, Steve

  5. Steve Hoefer says:

    The Celebration of Life for Dad went great! Thank you everyone for coming. I want to say a special thank you to Charlene. The poem you read added so much to our ceremony. It was exactly what we needed. I have found it so difficult to describe my Dad in a few words. But our friends have done it , and done it eloquently. Here is the poem Charlene wrote.

    Our Rick

    To Marie, Dan , Mark, Steve and Terry, of course,
    There’s a hole in our hearts- our voices are hoarse.

    Rick loved to debate–anyone, any time.
    When met on the street, you’d hear his opine

    A “contrary opinion” , he’d savor with glee.
    He’d argue his point to persuade you and me.

    He provoked thoughts in children and teens–‘mentoring’ his ‘fort’. (sic)
    Before grandkids, he’d practice on youths he’d import.

    He gave many ‘foreigns’ a part of his home,
    Heart and thoughts from the etherial zone.

    He also loved music and we loved Dixieland.
    We were blessed when his kids played in their band.

    He was proud of his kids but with their kids
    His bragging with love, yet NO ONE forbids!

    We have a long history of YEARS ON THIS BLOCK.
    We learned of more virtues as he ran out his clock.

    Upbeat and accepting, courageous and strong
    He’s a hard act to follow when we all get along

    Down our own paths , till we face that day.
    We’d strive him to emulate –this we’d all say!

    With a Sympathetic, Loving and Compassionate Heart

    Charlene 2013

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