College of Technology
Kurt Eric Hofmeister, 50, died June 23, 2012, at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Dawn (Marshaus) and sons Karl, 17, and Henry, 12, both at home. Born in Toledo on March 21, 1962, he spent his teen years in Sandusky and put himself through college by working at Cedar Point starting at age 14. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering cum laude in 1984 and an M.S. in mechanical engineering in 1993, both from the University of Toledo. Kurt was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, Ohio Society of Professional Engineers as well as Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma engineering honor societies.
Known for his sense of humor and quiet intelligence, Kurt had a strong work ethic and reinvented himself career-wise several times. At Applied Technologies he worked as an automotive design engineer and general manager and was recognized for his creativity by being issued a U.S. patent for a telescoping steering column and bracket. At Tri Tech Systems International, he used his finite element experience to design plastic bottle closures, and at Owens-Illinois he worked in computer systems management.
Kurt's real love was building and construction, and he switched careers to become a builder and project leader for Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity. As a member of Providence Lutheran he volunteered his skills within the congregation. He later was a builder and field manager for Wayne Homes and a gold-medal winner in the 2004-2006 Builder Olympics. Since 2006, Kurt taught construction technology full-time at Bowling Green State University and was recently promoted to the rank of Lecturer. He was the construction faculty member who incoming freshmen got to know first. He was best known for his service learning projects, in which students learned technical skills while giving back to the community by building such Bowling Green projects as a boardwalk in Wintergarden Park, a gazebo in Simpson Park and Habitat for Humanity projects at numerous locations.
In his spare time Kurt enjoyed model trains, and his basement was filled with layouts he designed. With newly acquired skills in electronics and radio waves, he was determined to perfect a tower he built to pick up radio signals for his train-watching hobby. He attended train shows with youngest son Henry. Kurt's favorite place was the Tehachapi "Loop" on the Union Pacific Railroad Line in California, known as one of the seven wonders of the railroad world.
Kurt supported his oldest son Karl’s skateboard career, and the two enjoyed three Amtrak adventures out west, stopping at famous skate parks along the way. Kurt recently watched Henry win his first skateboard contest. Kurt liked to plan family road trips, including Sacramento, Calif.; Gettysburg, Pa.; and Washington, D.C., stopping at train museums along the way.
Humble about his talents, Kurt loved to read, acquire new skills and trade on eBay. He was a meticulous carpenter and remodeled several houses. He taught Henry how to shoot a BB gun and taught both sons valuable building skills as they worked on projects together.
His analytical talents complemented his wife Dawn’s creative talents. It was often said of them that "there was nothing the two of them could not do together."
Other survivors include his mother, Delores Hofmeister of Sylvania; sisters Anne Hofmeister, St. Louis, Mo., and Cathy Churchill of Sandusky, Ohio; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Max Hofmeister.
Visitation will be 2-8p.m. June 28 at Hanenkrath-Clevenger-Schaffer Funeral Home 529 Jefferson Avenue. Defiance, Ohio 43512 and services at 11a.m. June 29. Memorials can be made to Habitat for Humanity.
To view Kurt's biography, click here.