Today was Thomas M. Hoffman’s Celebration of Life at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church here in Seward. Tom is shown here in the foreground with the coffee group. It was taken on the occasion of our son Jon’s being here from Virginia. Next to Jon (at Tom’s right) is Richard K., Richard M., Stan, Jay and I. Coffee without Tom is like having a meal without any seasoning in the food. His wealth of knowledge was remarkable. It went far beyond being a “trivia” expert. I had never heard of the “Code of Hammurabi” until he started quoting from it. Only to find that it is a preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia. Tom was a life long student who read, listened, learned and remembered. He had a “quotation” for every occasion. Father Salisbury mentioned that Tom often had one to pass on to him after Services. Some of his favorites were included in the folder including: "Faith is to believe what you do not see: The reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” Others were from Abraham’s letter to the Hebrews, from Charles Wesley, Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain. Tom grew up in South Omaha where his father worked in the Stock Yards. Tom followed him into the yards and became a Cattle Buyer for a number of years. He served in the US Army and had an active life with Church, family, school boards, city government, etc. I have been privileged to spend time with many people who are more intelligent and knowledgeable than I am, but Tom is near the top of that list.