At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Madyson Hoffman Education Fund C/O Fred Hoffman
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Lindsey Hoffman was an amazing young woman. She was as brilliant as she was beautiful, as gracious as she was generous, as full of faith and love as she was fun-loving. She was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend, who was taken from us too soon. There are so many things about this world we don't understand, but this much we do: Lindsey was a gift to us all.
Lindsey's story began on a beautiful spring day in 1979, in the bustling city of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Those were times of great change in this country, as we recovered from the end of the Vietnam War, a White House scandal, and an energy crisis, as well. Yet on May 14, 1979, a warm, muggy Monday, Terry and Susann (Ellis) Derhammer found reason to celebrate, with the birth of a beautiful baby girl at Bronson Hospital, a daughter they named Lindsey Marie.
Lindsey joined her big sister Tammy in the family's home, though Tammy was nearly 10 years her senior. When she was nearly four years old, her parents divorced, and she grew up with her mom in Portage on Ramona Drive.
Lindsey enjoyed a good childhood, with a beloved pet rabbit, and an encouraging environment for her many talents. She was particularly gifted in art, and enjoyed painting, everything from watercolor to acrylic, even turning the back of her bedroom door into a beautiful mural.
Eventually her mother remarried to Darryl Foster, and the family moved to Mattawan, where she attended high school. By then she had grown into a bright, beautiful young woman, and excelled at school. She was involved with the Wildcats' color guard squad that won a state championship, and was a great student, as well, beloved by her classmates. Those close to her all called her "LD." (To her dad Terry, though, she was always Marie.)
Lindsey was also a hardworking young girl, and after school she worked part-time at Fazoli's as the drive-through "window-girl" and later also at a local golf course as a cart girl. She was hardworking, but she was all girl, too, and preferred not to get dirty or sweaty!
Lindsey graduated from Mattawan in 1997, and then attended Southwestern Michigan's Medical Center's nursing program... for a time. Soon she'd have more on her mind than school, however.
On Memorial Day weekend of 1998, Lindsey was camping with some friends up north at Silver Lake, when a "young" man named Fred Hoffman spotted her walking through the campsite. She was easy to spot, 5-foot-10 and beautiful, and it was love at first sight for Fred. Luckily for him, he was acquainted with one of her friends, and the following week he begged for "unplanned" introduction. Fred got his meeting with Lindsey, and made the most of it, as the two connected and began their love affair. Fred felt that he should tell her that he was 10 years older than Lindsey, (not to mention four inches shorter than she), fearing that she would not approve she responded "I know" and their love grew quickly. Actually, though Lindsey was ten years younger it was quite apparent who acted the more mature of the two of them!
Later on, Fred's job with Target Stores was transferred to Springfield, Massachusetts. Lindsey went with him, four months pregnant at the time. Their fifth-floor apartment, with no elevator, proved quite a challenge in the coming months! On November 26, 1999, their beautiful baby girl, Madyson, was born, the greatest day of Lindsey's life.
The new family moved back to Portage after a year in Springfield, and Lindsey decided to go back to school at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She began studying to become a dental hygienist, and graduated in the top three of her class in 2002! Lindsey soon found a job in her field with the late Dennis Lesiak, DDS. She also went to Madyson's class to talk about what dental hygienists do, which she was so proud of.
Lindsey and Fred were married on September 19, 2003, at the Lawton Community Center, and enjoyed a beautiful honeymoon on the white-sandy beaches of the Riviera Maya, near Cancun. Despite their differences, it was clear the two were meant for each other. Lindsey was easy to fall in love with, though. She wasn't materialistic (and didn't even like to shop for herself), and never said a bad word about anyone. Lindsey carried herself with an uncommon elegance and honesty, a real, down-to-earth, fun-loving person. She had many friends, and loved to just be social and "hang out" with her friends, or using her great sense of style to redecorate their homes (she was a natural).
In 2005, Lindsey began having some health trouble. In early 2005, she began noticing strange feelings in her abdomen and went in for testing. In April of 2005, she was found to have a tumor over her appendix. Surgery was needed and it was discovered that she had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. She immediately began treatment. No matter whether she was weak or sick from treatment she managed to be concerned with everyone else. In late 2005, hope sprang, she received a clear CAT scan. But by spring of 2006 her symptoms returned, and once again she courageously began her battle
Ever determined to beat the disease, Lindsey continued her many treatments, with the support of her loving family. She tried to make everything "fun" for Madyson, and took her with her to her many treatments in Chicago, making it a better experience for both of them.
The family went to Disney World for a week in the summer of 2006, a trip Lindsey wanted to take and experience with Madyson. Lindsey loved it as much as Madyson did! She did it all, too, even Universal Studios theme park. Just prior this trip and due to the toll of the on-going treatments, she lost all of her hair. She decided to wear a wig because she did not like to be the center of any kind of attention. So during a ride called "The Mummy" she lost her wig. Nearly in tears, Lindsey bravely put her hat on determined not to let it ruin her and her family's day. Happily, Lindsey did get it back after the park closed. As one of the employees brought her wig to her, she hugged him, thanked him and asked does this happen a lot? He replied, "Ya, but they are usually grey."
Lindsey had a great sense of humor, though, about herself, and the world around her, one of the many reasons she was so beloved by everyone who knew her. Throughout her illness, Lindsey was more concerned with how her daughter was affected than how she was, the same way she always put everyone else's needs ahead of her own. Lindsey shared a truly special bond with her daughter, and loved to read books to her and just have her near her. Madyson remembers her mother's warmth, her hugs and kisses, and how soft she felt when she laid down with her, snuggling against her. One day they were lying in bed talking about her illness, and Lindsey told Madyson that if she did die, she could just look up at the stars and see and talk to her.
So sadly, Lindsey lost her battle with cancer on Monday, April 2, 2007.
Lindsey was an amazing young woman, so beautiful, yet modest, so proud, yet gracious, elegant yet honest. She was a beloved daughter, wife, mother, and friend, who touched everyone she met. Lindsey was a gift to us, a shining star in the heavens above, a star that shines on today in the hearts of us all. She will be so greatly missed.
Lindsey Hoffman died April 2, 2007 in Kalamazoo. Learn more about Lindsey, view her Life Story film, and visit with her family and friends on Thursday from 4:00 - 8:00 PM at the LIFE STORY FUNERAL HOME, Betzler, Kalamazoo 375-2900 where services will be held Friday 11:00 AM. She Members of her family include her husband Fred Hoffman; daughter, Madyson Hoffman; mother, Sue (Darryl) Foster of Schoolcraft; father, Terry Derhammer of Three Rivers; sister, Tamara McLoughlin of Portage; step brother, Thomas G. Foster of Hurlbert Field AFB, FL; maternal grandparents, Woodrow and Lillian Ellis of Kalamazoo; paternal grandparents, Barbara and Ralph Fowler of Ludington; mother in law, Sue Ann Hoffman of Davidson, several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you may share a memory or photo of Lindsey, sign her online guest book or make memorial contributions to Madyson's Education Fund C/O Fred Hoffman.