The Hoffman Family has maintained a long tradition in the funeral profession. Our family-operated business, which spans five generations, was started by Henry Hoffman in 1841, making him one of the pioneers in the funeral profession in Somerset County.
First Generation - Henry Hoffman was born in Hesse Kassel, Germany in 1820. He settled in Jenner Crossroads at the age of 21. He began as a furniture and casket maker. According to family records and newspaper clippings he was the first man to build the "open-face" or "full-couch" casket which is still the prevalent style in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Other areas of the country continue to use the "half-lid" type casket. Four of Henry's five sons followed in his footsteps: George Parker Hoffman, who practiced in Jennerstown; William and Joseph, who both practiced in Hooversville, and L. Graham Hoffman.
Second Generation - L. Graham Hoffman was born in Jenner Crossroads in 1868 and moved to Boswell in 1910. He, too, was a furniture maker and a painter, although he never made caskets (by then they were factory-made and delivered locally by train). He was licensed as a mortician by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1906. He then built the family residence on Allegheny Street in Boswell. During that time viewings, or wakes, were held at the home of the deceased so the business was operated out of the residence and a small building beside the home. L. Graham, who died in 1941, had three children, including one son, Joseph H. Hoffman.
Our former Allegheny Street location, circa 1950
Third Generation - Joseph H. Hoffman was born at the Allegheny Street residence/funeral home in 1915. He began helping his father in funeral service at the age of 10 and in 1936 graduated from the Eckels College of Mortuary Science. In 1938 he received his funeral director's license and also took over the business from his father. The business was suspended only once, from December 1942 until January 1947, when Joseph H. served in the Army during World War II. People gradually chose not to have viewings in their homes anymore; they preferred having them conducted in the funeral home. So he converted part of the residence on Allegheny Street to a funeral home. Joseph H., who died in 1985, and his wife, the former Madelyn Griffith, had two daughters, Pam and Nancy and one son, Joseph G. Hoffman.
Fourth Generation - Joseph G. Hoffman is a 1964 graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a 1965 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. After obtaining his funeral director's license in 1967, he assisted his father and worked at several other funeral homes until 1972, when the family purchased the Donald B. Hay Funeral Home on Main Street in Boswell. The Hoffman's continued funeral service at both the Allegheny and Main Street locations. In 1985 a large viewing room was added to the Main Street location. Joseph G. Hoffman was married to the former Mary Ann Zanoni who passed away in 2006. They are the parents of a daughter, Joette, and two sons Christopher G. and Jeffrey G.
Fifth Generation - Christopher G. Hoffman is a 1988 graduate of Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA and a 1990 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Chris became a licensed funeral director in 1992. He is married to the former Penny Shaffer of Hooversville and they now live in Davidsville with their two children, Audrey and Ethan.
Jeffrey G. Hoffman attended Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD and is a 1991 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Jeff became a licensed funeral director in 1993. He is married to the former Stacy Croyle and they reside in Jenners with their two children, Kylie and Alec.
Most Recently - In 1998 the Hoffman's expanded their services into Conemaugh Township when they opened a new location in Davidsville. In 2010 Madelyn Hoffman, (Joseph H. Hoffman's widow) who resided at the Allegheny Street location in Boswell, passed away and in 2012 that funeral home was closed and further renovations were made to the Main Street location.