Lyle J. Hoffmaster, 87, of Bucyrus, Ohio, died March 21, 2007, at his home.
He was born Nov. 21, 1919, in Benedict, Neb., to the late John A. and Orpha E. Hoffmaster. He married Barbara J. Moeri on March 24, 1956. She preceded him in death on Aug. 30, 2006. He is survived by his daughters Joyce Hoffmaster, Dayton, Ohio, and Anne Atzinger, Bargersville, Ind., sons-in-law Dan Greger and Don Atzinger, and two grandchildren.
He was a 30-plus-year member of Mount Zion United Methodist Church. He graduated from York High School in York, Neb., in 1937. His family relocated to Chatsworth, Ill., soon thereafter, where he purchased a grain separator and started a threshing ring. He became the youngest member admitted to the Illinois Brotherhood of Threshermen. He later earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. While attending Bradley he did custom plowing with Oliver tractors to pay for his education.
During his career he worked in the engineering departments of Johnson Hydraulics in Peoria, Jeffrey Mining and Manufacturing in Columbus, Ohio, Rixmann-Knapp Tractor Co. in Oklahoma City and the Ohio Locomotive Crane Co. in Bucyrus. He also taught hydraulic engineering at a vocational school in Shawnee, Okla., and worked for Gaeke's Tool Room and Ryder Brass in Bucyrus. He retired from the Ohio Locomotive Crane Co. in 1986. Lyle had a lifelong love for machinery, especially steam engines. He was a member of the Crawford County Antique Machinery Assn., the Darke County Steam Threshers Assn., the Johnson County (Indiana) Antique Machinery Assn., the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana, Midwest Old Threshers (Iowa) where he exhibited a Reeves steam engine and other machinery for 45-plus years, and was the last surviving founder of the Pontiac, Ill., steam show.
Submitted by Mark Corson, Crown Point, Ind.