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.