TRIBUTE TO A FELLOW FIREFIGHTER -Kern County, California City, and Tehachapi firefighters along with an honor guard of motorcyclists, family members, and friends mounted one of the largest and most impressive funeral corteges in recent history to pay respects to Kern County Firefighter Thomas John Hoffman. Fire equipment from all over East Kern enters Mojave Cemetery following the procession from California City

 Kern Firefighter Thomas John Hoffman laid to rest Tuesday   

Procession honors county firefighter

BY BILL DEAVER

MOJAVE - One of the longest funeral processions in East Kern memory honored Thomas John Hoffman, a Kern County Firefighter who passed away August 25, 2001. 

The procession, led by California Highway Patrol officers including motorcycle officers from Bakersfield, a contingent of Hoffman's motorcycle-riding friends, and county, California City, and Tehachapi fire engines, traveled from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in California City to Mojave Cemetery Tuesday morning.


A decorated Vietnam veteran who served with the First Infantry Division, Hoffman was born in Portsmouth, Virginia on March 27, 1950.

Survivors include his loving wife of 26 years, Justa Hoffman of Mojave, daughters Teresa Hoffman of San Luis Obispo, Janette Hoffman of Mojave; sons Thomas Hoffman Jr. and Erik Hoffman, both of Mojave, and one grandchild.


Memorial services were conducted by Fathers Craig Harrison and John Gracy, and arrangements were under the direction of Stickel Mortuary of Mojave.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Thomas Hoffman Jr. Memorial Fund established at Mojave Desert Bank in Mojave.


With the strains of "Amazing Grace" played by Kern County Fire Department bagpiper Ken Blanton drifting across the cemetery as services concluded, California City and Mojave Firefighters donned turnouts to respond to a structure fire in California City, continuing the tradition of service exemplified by their fallen comrade.

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