During his 66 years of dedicated service to the dairy industry John Hofer had the reputation of knowing more about some particular plant than their owners or maintenance people. This was an observation made by St. Louisian Michael A. Graver, a friend who prepared Hofer’s nomination for the Missouri Dairy Products Association.
“His 66-year career in sales and service to the dairy industry was one of helping everyone with everything from plant pumps to designing new production lines,” Michael said.
John was born April 8, 1916, the son of John and Theresa Hofer, dairy farmers near Rock Hill. So, John’s first experience in the dairy industry began at home on the family dairy farm.
After graduating from high school John attended the St. Louis Brown Business School in 1934-35.
He married his wife Harriett April 29, 1939 and they have three children. Judy is 61 and is a housewife in Houston, Texas; Susanne, 57, is also a housewife and lives in Sunset Hill; and John, 55, is a civil engineer for Hale Construction Company, St. Louis.
John and Harriett also are grandparents having seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
His first job off the farm was with the John Werber Company, a dairy supplier in St. Louis. Thirty-four years later he moved and became a manufacturer’s representative for Illinois Creamery Supply Company, to be known later as The Sprinkman Company, Chicago.
John’s territory included the midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri and he sold dairies their pumps, valves, compressors, and other equipment they needed to have a successful operation.
After his 66 years of dedicated service to the dairy industry, John retired in December 2001. Many of his former customers continue to ask about John with genuine interest and many meet him for lunch and sometimes ask him what gasket to use on a certain pump, his friend Michael noted.
In all of his experiences during his long career John said his biggest and most difficult accomplishment in life was to quit smoking.
The Hofers are members of the Rock Hill Presbyterian Church and live at in St. Louis.