- Fairbury News staff
Mary M. “Peg” Hoffman, 90, of Champaign, and formerly Fairbury and Dixon, fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church died at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, December 20, at Sugar Creek Memory Care, Normal, Illinois.
Her visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, December 31, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Pontiac. The Rosary will be prayed beginning at 9:45 a.m. Peg’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m., also at St. Mary’s with Fr. Adam Cesarek officiating. Burial will be in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, Fairbury. The family suggests memorials be given to the Helen Winslow Honan Scholarship Fund c/o Illinois State University Foundation, Dept. of Family & Consumer Sciences, Campus Box 2060, Normal, IL 61790-2060. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury is in charge of arrangements. Peg was born on October 4, 1931, in Fairbury, to Louis M. and Veronica M. (Winslow) Hoffman. She is survived by her brother, Robert (Sally) Hoffman, Fort Washington, MD; sister-in-law Carol Hoffman, Fairbury, IL; and nieces and nephews Suzanne (Randy) Maginn, Gahanna, OH; Patty (Chuck) Knight, Woodbury, MN; Alan (Lee Ann) Hoffman, Naperville, IL; Paul (Kristi Trimble), Fisher, IL; Janet (Neil) Mathis, Geneseo, IL; Keith (Kelli) Hoffman, Irving, TX; Michael (Toni) Hoffman, Labadie, MO; 20 great nieces and nephews; and 4 great-great nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers John Hoffman and Paul Hoffman; sister-in-law Barbara Hoffman; sister-in-law Pam Hoffman; and nephew Mark Hoffman.
Peg grew up in Fairbury but lived with her grandmother in Pontiac during the week and attended and graduated from St. Mary’s Grade School. She attended Pontiac High School and graduated from Fairbury Township High School. She is a graduate of Illinois State Normal University where she received an alumni award from the Family and Consumer Sciences program in 2015. Peg also received a Masters’ Degree in Home Economics from Purdue University.
Peg was active in 4-H and National 4-H Congress and was one of the first Illinois delegates chosen for the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) program. As an IFYE, she spent 6 months living with and learning from several farm families in New Zealand in 1953-54. That experience and the subsequent trip back to Illinois via ship through Asia and Europe cemented her commitment to finding ways to assist others, foreign travel and the IFYE program.
She taught home economics in both Hersher and Sycamore High Schools during a time where teachers made home visits to their students. Peg took her experiences into a career with Cooperative Extension at the University of Illinois. She started as a 4-H nutrition specialist in Illinois’ 40 southernmost counties and cumulated her career as the Region Director in Illinois’ northernmost counties, based in Dixon, almost four decades later. Along the way, her work gained her recognition and commendation from the USDA.
Peg’s Catholic faith was central to her life. She learned to play the piano and later the organ while a student at St. Mary’s, beginning her service as an organist to almost all the churches to which she belonged.
In retirement, Peg volunteered locally and places farther abroad like El Salvador and Guatemala.