Wesley Richard Hofer
June 15,1938 - November 5, 2007
Wes was born in Bridgewater, South Dakota on June 15, 1938. He died at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5th, 2007 from lung cancer and complications caused by the spread of cancer into bone marrow. A full military burial will take place at Punchbowl in Honolulu on Thursday, November 15th, at 1:30 p.m.
Wes was an Air Force pilot and served from 1960 – 1980. He flew reconnaissance airplanes primarily in the pacific arena in a RC39. He was also stationed in Europe for four years. He married Joy on Feb 17, 1968. They met at a military base.
After retiring from the Air Force, Wes was employed by Northrop Grumman Aerospace from 1980 – 2002. At Northrop Grumman, he worked on the B2 Stealth Bomber project.
In 1995, Wes and Joy bought a condo in Kailua Kona and spent vacations in Hawaii until they retired in 2002. Wes and Joy then moved to Kailua Kona. Wes, an avid bridge player, joined the Big Island Bridge unit and played at the Kona Bridge Club for 5 years. Wes always made an effort to play with several different partners, adapting play strategies depending on the partnership. He was a consistent winner at the club and sectional games in Kailua Kona. He last played on September 10, 2007 pairing with Jim Mills for a 69% game and a first place overall win. Wes had come to the Kona Bridge Club on the following Tuesday evening to play bridge and complained about feeling very ill. He left the bridge club immediately and was placed in the hospital within two days for diagnosis. Within a week he was diagnosed with lung cancer and his white blood count was non-existent. He achieved the status of Silver Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League.
In 2006, Wes and Joy returned to the mainland for medical treatment for Joy's illness. They were not aware of the cancer building in Wes.
Wes is survived by wife, Joy Hofer, of Kailua-Kona; sons, David (Teara) Hofer, of Henderson, Nev., Wesley (Angela) Hofer Jr., of Santa Maria, Calif., Philip Hofer, of Lancaster, Calif.; daughter, Cherie Hofer, of Ladera Heights, Calif.; stepson, Stephen Stewart, of Montrose, Calif.; stepdaughter, Denise Stewart, of Beatrice, Neb.; brothers, Orville (Irene) Hofer, of Bridgewater, S.D., Gerald Hofer, of Fayetteville, N.C.; sisters, Verona (Carl) Young, of Seattle, Connie Hofer, of Glenview, Ill.; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.