TRAVERSE CITY — Marcus H. Hoffard, 96, passed away peacefully on July 10 during a brief stay at hospice house in Traverse City. Mark was an only child born to Charlotte (Dean) and Leo Hoffard in Flint on April 24, 1917.
His fondest childhood memories were at the family farm in Layton Corners, Chesaning. He started earning money at the tender age of five by selling newspapers and occasionally dancing on the street corners of Flint, and this work ethic served him well throughout his life.
His gregariousness and ability to convincingly talk to anyone about anything was an important skill when he enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served with the 740th Ordinance Division and provided well for his unit by wheeling and dealing his way across the Pacific Theater, which included a one-year stop-over on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.
Through the GI Bill he became a barkeeper, owning and operating both Happy’s Bar and The Patio Lounge in Flint in the 1950s. After selling a beer distribution company in Bay City he went on to his true calling in sales at Applegate Chevrolet in Flint, retiring as the new car sales manager in the 1980s.
He moved to Traverse City in 1999 and spent content, quality years walking every day at the Civic Center and loved spending time at both the family cottage on Crystal Lake and his daughter and son-in-law’s place in Alden.
On Nov. 21, 1946, he married the only love of his life, Barbara Hazel Wells, also of Flint. They raised three daughters, Judith Greene, Lynn (Lori) Podvesker-Hoffard, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Wendy Pillen, of Traverse City. He’ll be greatly missed by his grandson, Jack Isaac Podvesker-Hoffard; the Wells Clan, of Fenton, including June, Bill Jr., Jeffery, Damian, Paula, Derek, Jessa and Nick; and his special friend, Gloria Mitchell.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; and his son-in-law, Ron Pillen.
At the end he received wonderful and loving care from Dr. Richard Entz, Orchard Creek Skilled Nursing, Country Pleasures Assisted Living and the incredibly kind and capable Munson nursing staff on B3 and at hospice house. He called himself the “go-go-go guy,” and he died the way he lived his life — with honesty, integrity and a no-nonsense attitude.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service is planned for early fall.
Arrangements are being handled by Covell Funeral Home in Traverse City.