Edward J. “Ted” Hoff died at home on June 26, surrounded by his adoring and adored wife, Kathleen M. O’Connell, and their beloved sons, Thomas Liam O’Connell Hoff and Michael Aidan O’Connell Hoff. He was 68. A grateful beneficiary of a double-lung transplant, necessitated by idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Ted lived his life with extraordinary joy, kindness, excellence, optimism, purpose, and love; a recent rejection episode robbed him of more years. In addition to his wife and sons, Ted is survived by his loving siblings Mary Eileen and William F. Roos, Nancy Tishman, Walter Michael and Evelyn Hoff, Vincent Hoff, Geri and Todd Havill, James George and Courtney Hoff; his O’Connell siblings-in-law Regina O’Connell, Patricia O’Connell, and James and Lauren O’Connell; many nieces, nephews, and cousins across America and Ireland; and myriad friends and admirers. Ted was predeceased by his parents, George E. and Mary Catherine Hoff;brother Thomas Francis Hoff; and brother-in-law David Tishman. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Ted was raised in Westchester, Illinois and Oradell, New Jersey. An alumnus of Saint Joseph School and Bergen Catholic High School, Ted attended Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Following his work on Capitol Hill and for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Ted enjoyed what he considered the high privilege of serving in the second administration of New Jersey Governor Brendan T. Byrne, first as a special assistant and then as Cabinet Secretary. Motivated to learn how to better solve problems in both public and private organizations, Ted earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and was named a Baker Scholar. He then taught marketing at HBS before studying for a PhD in Business Economics at Harvard. After leaving academia, Ted achieved heights of success in the private sector that he never imagined, including founding his own executive education consulting firm and later joining IBM as Vice President and Chief Learning Officer. His award-winning work centered on leadership development; in later years he focused on broader issues of workforce development to enable IBMers to deliver innovative solutions for clients. Guided by his deep Catholic faith and unyielding belief in the power of one person to effect positive change, Ted energetically engaged in the various communities in which he and his family were involved and which they treasured. Throughout his life he raised money for candidates and causes whose values he shared. He was honored to serve for many years on the board of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and on the Board of Visitors of the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Proud father of two Arrows, Ted was a past board member of Saint Sebastian’s School and President of its Men’s Association. Together with Kathleen, Ted contributed enormously to Saint Peter School and Saint Peter Parish, Cambridge. His roles included CYO basketball coach (2007 CYO Greater Boston Championship Team!), member of the school board, fundraising committee,and parish finance council, and leadership donor. Ted involved himself in the life of his adopted city of Cambridge in multiple and meaningful ways. He served on the City Manager’s Advisory Board and, when his young sons played hockey, on the Cambridge Youth Hockey board. A lifelong baseball fan, he helped coach his sons’ teams in West Cambridge. Countless young ballplayers in Cambridge developed their passion for the game as eager participants in the West Cambridge Farm League, which for two decades “Coach Ted” ran on spring Saturdays--after commuting home from his weekday job in New York. Young kids loved his exceptional energy and exuberance (and the Oreos), and parents appreciated his endless patience, selflessness, and strong but gentle presence. As an inspiring and informal mentor and guide, Ted impacted many people. Especially for young Cantabrigians from across the city, the Hoff-O’Connell home was a beacon of welcome, a place to connect, watch and play sports, engage in spirited debate, and eat pizza. Ted rejoiced in the successes of the many young men who, throughout the years, expressed gratitude for his unwavering encouragement, support, advice, and vigorousadvocacy. They are part of his remarkable legacy. Ted’s professional and civic accomplishments were numerous and significant. But his greatest point of pride and source of joy was the beautiful family life he and Kathleen created with Tommy and Michael, a life defined by love, faith, and commitment to others. His family and friends miss him desperately, but we know his huge kind heart, unassailable integrity, sterling soul, generous spirit, prodigious intellect, beaming smile, and great good cheer will live on through Tommy and Michael and those who have been inspired by his magnificent example.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, July 13th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM in St. Peter’s Church 100 Concord Ave. Cambridge. A Funeral Mass will follow on Friday, July 14th at 10:00 AM. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Interment to follow Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. Edward's Funeral Mass will be live-streamed by visiting https://www.harborview.live
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Gifts in memory may be sent to the “Ted Hoff Fund,” Saint Peter School, 96 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Thank you.