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
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.