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Salyards Hofmeister

Contributed report
Aspen, CO Colorado

The family of Salyards “Sal” Hofmeister wishes to share with his friends the news of his passing on Tuesday, March 11, 2008. He was 86 years old.

Salyards Hofmeister loved to fly as a young man of 17 years old and was known to do “barrel rolls” occasionally over Lake Minnetonka where he grew up, almost caus­ing his mother, Myra Sal­yards Hofmeister, to faint with worry on each roll­over maneuver she wit­nessed. Despite his mother’s concerns, he was an accomplished pilot.

Salyards Hofmeister was hired on as one of the first pilots for Pan American Airways. He quickly he became a Captain for Pan Am at a very young age in their newly formed passenger service.



When World War II broke out, he served his country in the Air Transport Command, a specialized unit of the Air Force, supply­ing our troops abroad and visiting unusual parts of the world delivering the necessary war materials needed, and operated under constant risk of being shot down at any giv­en moment by the enemy.

Salyards Hofmeister was married to Jeanne (“Mits”) Groth, his wife of 45 years, until 1989 when she preceded him in death.




Salyards Hofmeister had left Pan Ameri­can Airlines and worked in the stock bro­kerage business in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minn., for most of his later years.

Sal graduated later in life from the Uni­versity of Minnesota, as flying, the war and having a family took precedence at that time over his schooling. He completed his college B.A. degree in business in his mid-­40s.

Aside from Sal’s passion for flying, he also loved sailing, for many years maintaining a gaff rig C-boat and an X-boat on Lake Min­netonka, Wayzata, Minn., and a small sloop in Florida during his retirement in 1982 on Sanibel Island, Fla. With flying and sailing, he was a navigational expert.

In addition, skiing and golf were favored by Sal and his wife Mits, as they were fre­quent visitors to Aspen, purchasing one of the first condos built in the newly con­structed Snowmass Ski Area in 1970.

Salyards Hofmeister was beyond all doubt always a gentleman in the highest regard of the word. He always was thought­ful and caring of others and dedicated to his family. He will be missed by his family and the many friends that he leaves behind.

He is survived by his four children: Susan McCoy of Aspen, and Scott Hofmeister of Louisville, Colo.; Sally Hofmeister of Minnetrista, Minn.; Shelley Becklund, and one grandchild, Sage Beck­lund, of Underwood, Minn. Also remain­ing of his family is his sister Zita Hawley Wright; her three children, MacDonald Hawley, James Hawley and Lane Hawley Cole; and her five grandchildren; along with many cousins and family in Duluth, Minn.

A private memorial service in celebra­tion of Salyards Hofmeister’s life will be Sat­urday, June 28, in Wayzata, Minn.