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Always available to lend a hand and open his home to loved ones in times of joy or need, Fred R. Hofmann devoted his life to caring for his family.

Fred was born Sept. 17, 1947, to Marianne and Ed Hofmann. He grew up in Billings with his cousins who were also close friends and partners in shenanigans that often tested the mettle of their mothers, grandmother and aunties.

Fred graduated from Billings High School in 1965 and immediately joined the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard and USS Ranger aircraft carriers. His conscientious and exemplary care of the aircraft in his charge was well recognized. He was a proud Vietnam War veteran.

When Fred returned home, his cousin Rick introduced him to Donna Bigler. The connection was instant and, knowing a good thing when he found it, he soon married the love of his life. Their whirlwind romance lasted over 48 years and was blessed with two children, of whom Fred was immensely proud.

Extremely good to the ladies in his life, his wife, mother, sister, sisters-in-law and in heart, daughter and granddaughters all relied on him. Not one member of his family can look at their vehicle or home and not see something that his strong, capable hands and keen mind did not repair, improve or create. He enjoyed passing this knowledge to his son and grandchildren. His instruction was hands-on and he would not admonish, but simply ask, “are you sure you want to do that?”

Fred also shared his love of the outdoors and sportsmanship. He was present for each first hunt and his family and friends will remember these and many more good days of hunting and fishing with Fred.

On Oct. 19, 2018, family at his side, Fred passed away and was welcomed by loved ones that preceded him, including his mother, sister Jill, father, sister-in-law Geri, and brothers-in-law Rick and Armand.

Fred is survived by his sweetheart and wife, Donna; their children, Amber Field and Chris (Robin) Hofmann; brother Ed (Bonnie) Hofmann; sister Laura (David) Long; sisters-in-law Roberta Sanderson, Margaret Dowell (Duane) and Bonnie Bigler; brother-in-law John Patton (Kay); his nieces and nephews and their respective families; and his most precious grandchildren Morgan, Noah, Kelsie, Cade, Quinn and Christopher Ladd.

Fred’s family asks that friends join them to share memories and celebrate Fred’s life at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 4811 Middle Valley Drive, Billings, MT 59105.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the VFW Auxiliary Post 1634, 4242 State Ave, Billings, MT 59101.

Interment with full military honors will occur at a later date.

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