Funeral service for Gerald "Jerry" Hofstad of Emmetsburg was held Friday, Sept. 27, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Emmetsburg. The Rev. Kim Peterson officiated.
Inurnment was in Evergreen Cemetery, Emmetsburg, on Saturday, Sept. 28. The Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg was in charge of arrangements.
Gerald Berg Hofstad, son of Carl and Gladys (Johnson) Hofstad, was born May 16, 1933 in Spencer. As a young boy, Jerry, as he became known to his family and friends, worked at his parents' grocery store. He received his education in Emmetsburg and graduated from Emmetsburg High School. Following high school, Jerry attended Emmetsburg Junior College.
Jerry was united in marriage to Dawn Freeman and this union was blessed with two daughters, Kay and Tami. Jerry enjoyed racing snowmobiles and ice boats in the area and jet boats on the Mississippi River. He was a very talented woodworker and inventor, developing countless pieces of machinery for both work and fun. He enjoyed golfing, fishing and hunting. He will certainly be remembered for his many appearances as Emmet Kelly in the St. Pat's parades and for his talent playing the bagpipes.
On Jan. 1, 1960 Jerry purchased the Palo Alto Reminder and operated its publication until December 1968 when it was announced that Jerry, along with S.J. Brownlee, had purchased the Democrat and Reporter and would publish the newspapers in conjunction with the Reminder. Jerry served as publisher of the Emmetsburg Democrat and Reporter as well as the Palo Alto Reminder until Jan. 1, 1980 when he sold the operation to Ogden Newspapers, Inc.
Jerry was a huge supporter and promoter of not only Emmetsburg but Palo Alto County. He served on countless committees and organizations, some of which included the Palo Alto Conservation Board, Industrial Development Board, Chamber of Commerce, and The United Way. He served on the Emmetsburg Airport Commission for several years, having a strong interest in the preservation of local airports. Jerry held a private pilot's license and owned and flew two planes. He was very instrumental in bringing SNC and PamLine to Emmetsburg. He was also very supportive of the lake dredging project.
Jerry was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, the Emmetsburg Country Club, Masonic Lodge and Abu Bekr Shrine and he sang with the Harmony group. He was a talented actor and shared his skills in many Main Street Community Theater productions. Jerry was a strong supporter of theater and not only performed in various productions but was a member of MSCT as well.
After Jerry sold the newspaper he and Barbara began an adventure in their lives of traveling all of the navigable rivers in the United States on a houseboat. Another dream of theirs was to travel the "Big Circle" so they sold their boat and while in Naples purchased an Ocean Liner, which they named "The Boat of Us" and set out for the next nine years to fulfill this dream. Jerry and Barbara (Hall) Papadakes were united in marriage on July 24, 2001.
They returned to Emmetsburg where Jerry began Hofstad Lawn Systems which he was still currently operating. He worked at the Emmetsburg Golf course as a volunteer greens keeper for several years.
In 2006 Jerry was elected Palo Alto County Supervisor where he served on many committees. He took great pride in his position and spent countless hours serving his constituents. He was re-elected in 2010 and was just completing his third year of this term.
Jerry passed away Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 at his home in Emmetsburg at the age of 80. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Dean and Donald.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara of Emmetsburg; his children, Kay Hofstad Swalve (Larry) of Cylinder, Tami Walden (John) of Cheyenne, WY, Charles Papadakes (Toni) of Breaux Bridge, LA, Tina Pippert (John) of Dysart and Nick Papadakes (Jennifer) of Wadsworth, IL; grandchildren, Jerri Sadler, Colyn and Jayden Johnson, Sarah and Ethan Papadakes, Calvin and Emily Hast, Nicko and Morgan Papadakes; as well as many other relatives and friends.
Jerry touched countless people's lives in a variety of ways. His ability to tell a joke, share an impersonation or break out in song, brought smiles and laughs from not only those that knew him but total strangers as well.
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