December 03, 2013

Henry Hoffman, long-time supporter for UAB, dies at 91

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Henry (Hank) Hoffman, Ph.D., a member of the faculty at UAB from 1957 until 1988, passed away on Thanksgiving Day and was buried Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. He was 91.

hoffman-obitHoffman joined the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1957 as an instructor of anatomy. In 1970, he became a full professor of Anatomy and chair of the student admissions committee; he held both positions until his retirement in 1988. Even after retirement, Hoffman continued to mentor students and serve as a consultant to the admissions committee.

Soon after his retirement, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved the creation of the Henry Harland Hoffman Endowed Medical Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund established by friends, former students and colleagues. The resolution by the board noted Hoffman’s “great vision, strong leadership, high professional values and a love for students; and these special qualities served to influence and inspire the thousands of young people with whom he came in contact with over the years.” Recipients, known as Hoffman Scholars, are chosen based on merit, character and promise.

Hoffman was born Oct. 30, 1922, in Hughesville, Mo. After serving in World War II he received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Missouri Valley College. He later received a master’s and a doctoral degree in anatomy from St. Louis University and was a fellow there for two years. After moving to Birmingham, he received additional training at the University of Pennsylvania and through the United States Public Health Service at the University of Michigan.

In addition to being a stalwart member of the faculty, Hoffman was also a talented singer. He performed in barbershop quartets throughout his life and sang with the Dawson Baptist Church choir for more than 50 years.

Several of Hoffman’s former students contributed comments for a presentation at the 2009 dinner recognizing the scholarship. Among them, Alan Siegal, M.D., class of 1964, said, “Dr. Hoffman was not only an excellent teacher, but (he) did so in a manner of kindness and thoughtfulness. I found him to be an inexhaustible source of wisdom but more importantly a friend.”

Jarvis Ryals, M.D., class of 1965, said, “I was, and still am, grateful that Dr. Hoffman was my first interviewer because he put me at ease when I felt his sincerity and genuine warmness toward me.”

Hoffman was married to Lena Irene Dennis Hoffman for 43 years until her death in 1998. He is survived by his wife, Virginia Greene Hoffman; his children, Dennis, Carol DeBell and her husband Keith, and Don and his wife Melanie; and Virginia’s children, Joe Greene and his wife Kelly, and Russ Taylor.

The family asked that donations be made in memory of Hoffman to the Henry Harland Hoffman Endowed Medical Scholarship Fund or Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.

To donate to the Henry Harland Hoffman Medical Scholarship Fund, click this link; call or email Jessica Brooks Lane at 205-975-4452 or; or mail a check, made out to the UAB School of Medicine, to:

ATTN: Jessica Brooks Lane
UAB School of Medicine Development
FOT 1225, 1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-3412