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Virgil Hoftiezer, PhD.

Virgil Hoftiezer, PhD.

June 4, 1941 – December 24, 2019


Virgil was born in a farmhouse in Hamlin County, SD to Lucy Mae (Beman) and Herbert Hoftiezer, the middle son of three boys. He grew up in Castlewood & Henry, South Dakota, living a rural farm life. Virgil graduated from Northern State Teachers College in 1963 with a BS in secondary education (Math and Biology), and began teaching middle and high school. He continued teaching for his entire career, sharing his passion for education, learning and knowledge. He and Janice Kay (Buehler) were married December 27, 1963. After his PhD and post-doc in Anatomy and Cell Biology at University of Minnesota– and four children, Jan and Virg settled in Indiana for his tenured career with Indiana University School of Medicine, Northwest Campus. One of his proudest professional accomplishments was being bestowed the outstanding instructor statewide of the year, chosen by medical students. His sabbatical took the entire family to Uppsala, Sweden for an adventurous and defining year. Virgil retired in 2005 as Professor and Associate Director of the Northwest Center.

Virgil had as much or more passion for his charitable and leisure pursuits. He was a master gardener and craftsman, humorist, avid reader, ferocious cross-stitcher and a breeder of finches in a Mendelian approach and study. If you knew him even casually, you knew he loved genealogy and shared this love and discovery. Virgil authored the book, A Life After Quantrill: Kate King, A Biography about one of his infamous relatives and was writing about Thomas W. Hardwick, another infamous relative, at the time of his death. He also was passionate about his work and service with Indiana Family Health Council and Planned Parenthood of Northwest Indiana, serving as the board president. He and Jan traveled extensively, and visited all seven continents.

Jan and Virg very consciously retired to Kendal at Granville, Ohio as active members and strong proponents of the community and Lifelong Learning Institute of Central Ohio as well as the Licking County Genealogical Society. He brought and shared his passions, service, energy, and “Virgil humor” to central Ohio.

Virgil adored his family and relished the Morfar/Farfar role (adopting Sweden as a homeland and loving the defined title even if it was confusing at times). He was incredibly proud of his children and grandchildren, always wanting to hear and learn what they were doing.

Virgil will be mourned by his wife, Janice; his four children: Cynthia (Steve Karlin), AmyMarie Riley (John), Scott (Mary) and Tim (Donna); his five grandchildren: Taylor, Trevor and Makenna Hoftiezer, Hannah and Claire Karlin, and his brother Vyron Hoftiezer, sisters and brothers in law, nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family as well as dear friends. His vote for anyone but Trump will be unfortunately missed come November. Gifts in his memory may be made to Kendal at Granville Caring Friends Fund (2158 Columbus Road, Granville OH 43023) or Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky or Ohio.  A Celebration of Life will take place January 3, 2020 at 1:00 pm in the Amelia Room at Kendal at Granville, Ohio.  Please visit to leave the family an online condolence.

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  • Beverly Vogeley says:

    My heart is broken for you, your family, for all who knew Virgil and me— we will miss his wit, humor, intelligence and warmth. My sincere condolences to you and your family.
    Bev Vogeley

  • Mary H. says:

    Jan, I am so sorry to hear of Virgil’s passing. He was a very valued member of our Lifelong Learning Institute. His presence will be missed in our classes.
    Rest in Peace, Virgil.
    Prayers for you, Jan, and for your family.

    Mary H.

  • Kevin l Hoftiezer says:

    he was a nice guy and now I won’t have no more family reunions he will be missed by everone who knew him.

  • Jeffrey P Beman says:

    I will miss Virgil. His love of genealogy and his book were quite enlightening. Having met Virgil and some of the family relatively recently, I am saddened by his passing. Please accept condolences and sympathy for your loss from me and my family.
    Jeff & Bonnie Beman, Worthington, MN

  • Vicki Maple says:

    Jan and family – While saddened by this news, I am grateful to have known Virgil. Please accept my heartfelt prayers for peace during this difficult time. Blessings to all. Vicki

  • Cynthia's Coffee Moms says:

    Dear Hoftiezer Family,
    We are long-time Arlington friends of Cynthia (some going as far back as the kids’ preschool years), and over the years we have heard so much about her remarkable father — scholar, educator, writer, genealogist, and bird enthusiast. We were so sorry to learn that Virgil has passed. Our coffee group has made a donation to Planned Parenthood in his name, and we are keeping all of you in our thoughts. Please accept our most heartfelt condolences.

    Andrea, Linda, Amy, Jan, Eileen, Jennifer and Janice

  • Yanna Iatridis says:

    Dearest Jan,
    So sorry to hear the sad news. Dr. Hoftiezer was a wonderful teacher and scientist and a lovely person. The world was richer because he was in it. We will miss his warmth, kindness and humor. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Deepest condolences.
    Yanna Iatridis

  • Angela Finney says:

    I am very thankful to have known Virgil a little over the last few years. He was a very kind and interesting man. I am so sorry for your loss, Jan and family.

  • Jackie Harmon says:

    I have the pleasure of working with Virgil’s daughter Cynthia for many years. From reading Virgil’s life and passions I can see where Cynthia received her warmth, caring, and drive. My heart goes out to Cynthia and the entire family. Please accept my heartfelt prayers during this difficult time.

  • IU School of Medicine-NW says:

    Jan and Family,

    We are so sorry for your loss. Virgil was so important to the Center and was a big part of making the Center successful. He will be missed. You and the family are in our thoughts and prayers.

    IUSM-NW Faculty and Staff

  • Jeff & Deb (Hoftiezer) Bahr says:

    Sad news. We will miss Uncle Virgil and his sense of humor-always being the middle child. Thinking and praying for you during this time and for the times to come. -Deb & family

  • Jim Kimnach says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers go our to your family.

  • Chris Hough says:

    I was lucky enough to know Virgil through working at the genealogy department of the Valparaiso Public Library. We are lucky to have been donated research that he did.
    Remembering him fondly and keeping Jan and family in our thoughts.


    I was privileged to have been taught histology by Dr. Hoftiezer during my 1st year of medical school at the Gary campus.He was not only a wonderful teacher but also a kind supportive mentor.My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

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