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John C. 'Jack' Hoffman, 86

Obituary: John C. 'Jack' Hoffman; Capitol Page School Principal

John C.
John C. "Jack" Hoffman was also a baseball umpire and youth baseball, football and basketball coach. (Family Photo)
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

John C. "Jack" Hoffman, 86, a retired principal of the Capitol Page School who was also a baseball umpire and youth coach, died June 3 at Charlotte Hall (Md.) Veterans Home of complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Hoffman, a Marlow Heights resident, had been principal of an alternative junior-senior high school for boys in the District and at the city's Hine Middle School before becoming principal of the Capitol Page School in 1968. Young men, and later women, too, went to school from 6 to 10 in the morning before beginning their daily duties as pages in the House and Senate.

After his retirement in 1984, the school split in two -- one school for House pages and one for Senate pages.

During the summer, he worked for the D.C. Department of Recreation. As a coach of youth baseball, football and basketball, his teams traveled to 12 states and captured 33 titles. In 1973, his Prince George's County baseball team for 15-year-olds won the World Series of Babe Ruth Baseball at Manchester, N.H.

He umpired Atlantic Coast Conference and Mason-Dixon Conference college baseball, as well as high school and semiprofessional baseball. He also umpired the annual game between Democratic and Republican lawmakers. He was a five-time president of the Metropolitan Baseball Umpires Association and editor of the group's monthly newsletter, the Indicator.

John Charles Hoffman was born in the District. He attended Gonzaga College High School before graduating from Eastern High School in 1941.

During World War II, he served in a field artillery battalion in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. He received the Purple Heart for wounds received near Vallecupa, Italy, in 1944, and spent a year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center recovering from his wounds and malaria.

He received a bachelor's degree from George Washington University in 1948 and a master's degree in guidance and personnel from the University of Maryland in 1951. He went to work for the District public schools and was a vocational education teacher at Kramer Middle School and at Anacostia High School's night school for 10 years before being named vice principal at Sousa Middle School.

He was honored by the D.C. Bar Association for his booklet and instructional unit, "But Your Honor I Didn't Know," which explained the law as it relates to juveniles. He also lectured extensively on juvenile delinquency.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Mary Pauline Rollman Hoffman of Marlow Heights; four children, Colleen Woodard of Fairfax Station, Darlene Charles of Palmyra, Va., Kathleen Nelson of Hollis, N.H., and John W. Hoffman of Marlow Heights; a brother; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

-- Joe Holley


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