ONEONTA — Eduard Hofbauer, 75, of Oneonta, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at Bassett Healthcare Hospital, Cooperstown.
Edi was born on Aug. 28, 1937, in Munich, Germany, the son of the late Anna Hofbauer. One of Edi’s dreams was to become a U.S. citizen so as a teenager his uncle sponsored him to come to the United States. He spoke little English and only had a trade school education. For his short period of time living in New York City, he played water polo for the New York Athletic Club.
He obtained his U.S. citizenship after he served in the U.S. Army at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii, 1959 to 1963. Oahu is where he met his beloved wife, Ingrid, whom he married in East Orange, N.J. in 1964.
While in East Orange, Edi learned the ski equipment business in a ski shop with friend, Warner Seher and became the first Puma representative in the U.S. His dream of owning his own ski shop came true when a good friend, Herb Trappenburg, of Stamford, helped him plan the opening of the Alpine Ski Hut in Oneonta, where he settled and raised his family.
Edi and Ingrid ran their family owned business, the Alpine Ski Hut for 45 years. He eventually expanded the business into a sporting goods store and loved to sell skis, bikes, and other athletic equipment. He prided himself on the service he gave his customers.
He loved work but it was not really “work” to him but rather his passion. Eventually he became a craftsman at his trophy and engraving business which he loved and had a special talent for.
Edi was a generous and caring man with a big heart who touched many lives in many ways. His laugh and smile will resonate in everyone’s hearts forever. He loved Oneonta and enjoyed life to its fullest.
His love for his community showed by his service as a past president of Oneonta Rotary. While in Rotary he received the Paul Harris Award. Additionally, he served on the Boards of the YMCA, Oneonta Historical Society, Oneonta Country Club, County Youth Board, and was a member of the Eastern Winter Sports Representatives Association and the Oneonta Elks Club.
Edi and Ingrid enjoyed traveling, playing golf and cards with their dear friends. His most treasured gift was spending time with his grandchildren. Pop-Pop was a big part of their lives _ he would never miss a game, concert, or recital but most importantly just enjoyed spending time with them everyday.
Edi is survived by his wife of 48 years, Ingrid Hofbauer of Oneonta; his lovely daughters, Monika Hofbauer-Baldwin and husband Perry Baldwin of Orlando, Fla., Heidi Hofbauer-Buzzy and husband Brett Buzzy of Oneonta; his beloved grandchildren, Mickaela (12), Anika (9), Dakoda (8) and Nikoala Buzzy (2) of Oneonta, and Jenna (20) and Serena Baldwin (17) of Orlando, Fla. He is also survived by his sister, Charlotte Riedmair of Phaffenhofen, Germany.
Friends may call at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand St., Oneonta, from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at which time the family will be in attendance.
A service to celebrate his life will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at the First United Methodist
Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta, with the Rev. Teressa Sivers, officiating.
Ed’s family has requested that flowers be omitted and the following organizations be considered for contributions in his memory: Alpine Ski Hut Scholarship Fund, made payable to the Oneonta
City School District, 31 Center St., Oneonta, NY 13820; or the Oneonta Rotary Fund, for the Student Exchange Program, P.O. Box 1122, Oneonta, NY 13820.
Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting the website at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.