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DCCF funds honor the legacy of ‘Miss Hoffman’

SYCAMORE The DeKalb County Community Foundation has established two new funds to support education in DeKalb County. The funds were made possible from the estate of Sycamore resident Joan L. Hoffman.

The Joan L. Hoffman St. Mary DeKalb Scholarship Fund provides educational support to St. Mary Catholic School in DeKalb to offer student scholarships. The John J. and Katherine M. Hoffman Family St. Mary Sycamore Scholarship Fund honors Joan’s parents and provides educational support to St. Mary Catholic School in Sycamore to offer student scholarships.

Joan Hoffman was born in August 1927 and was a resident of Sycamore for most of her life. She was an active member at the Church of St. Mary Sycamore and attended grade school there. She went on to graduate from Sycamore High School and Western Michigan University.

Miss Hoffman, as she was known to her students, began teaching in 1952 at St. Alphonsus Catholic School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She taught at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Albuquerque, before returning to Sycamore in 1963 to teach at St. Mary Catholic School in DeKalb. Hoffman taught first grade there for 28 years before retiring in 1991. Even in retirement, she was a reading tutor for students at St. Mary Catholic School in Sycamore.

In April 2014, Hoffman was honored at the Lancer Legacy Ball for her years of faithful dedication to the first grade students of St. Mary’s DeKalb. She was awarded the Saints and Scholars Award.

Beyond the classroom, Hoffman was an avid gardener and an antique furniture finisher. She also enjoyed reading, tent camping across the U.S., and spending time with family and friends. She died in 2020.

Donations to any fund at the foundation can be made online or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, IL 60178. For questions or to get started creating a charitable fund, contact Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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