In Memoriam
Richard Ira (Rick) Hofferbert
April 2, 1937 - July 6, 2011

Read the obituary and the Binghamton University Inside article
memorial program

Ira Sharkansky:

Rick Hofferbert was one of my greatest personal and professional assets. It may have been 50 years ago, and certainly more than 45 years ago that we met, most likely at one of the numerous conferences that we attended together. We began as collaborators seeking to influence the bit of political science that we called our own, and matured to the stage of curmudgeons grousing via e-mails about politics and higher education. Our work dealt with the quantification of politics and public policy, but I cannot measure all that I received as colleague and friend.  His last message reached me while I was traveling. It was not a grousing letter, but a celebration of the United States at its anniversary. As in many of his notes, he warmed my heart with good words about Israel's as well as America's contributions to civilization. I planned to respond when I returned home, but then I saw notes from internet friends introduced to me by Rick indicating that I had missed the opportunity.
In much of what I write, I think about how Rick would respond. He often did, in detail, with surprises and insights.
Varda and I traveled all night, and did an early morning walk around French Hill to flex our bodies before the heat that would come by mid-morning. I explained to Varda (the Hebrew equivalent of Rose), that I was preoccupied with thoughts of Rick and another Rose, the two boys I remember from summer visits, and other offspring that he had described. 
Rick helped me develop as a political scientist, but he failed in teaching me how to become a great grandfather.

Ira Sharkansky
July 9, 2011
Stanley Feigenbaum:

Rick and I were kindred spirits. We were both conservatives, therefore, aliens, outsiders. He, because he worked and socialized in the liberal Binghamton University world. I, because I was raised and lived in the equally liberal Jewish community. One day, we stumbled upon each other at the mail box in front of our apartment complex and discovered that we were next-door neighbors. We were a conservative core in the Binghamton University environs.

We talked, lunched, laughed, argued, commiserated, confided, consoled, corresponded. We annoyed waitresses, we curmudgeoned and geezered, but mostly, we had an amazingly great time together. Friends said that we must have a lot to talk about because we thought alike. Not really. There's not a lot of room for discussion when thoughts are synced. There is very limited point-counterpoint that can be made when we agree. It would be like arguing about the proper shade of blue for the sky. But we did find a lot to talk about; phlogiston, among other things. One discussion that comes to mind occurred over a lunch of sandwiches at Venice Beach. The argument was animated and almost a little heated. Rick contended that the mayonnaise in the sandwich served as a binding agent for the slices of tomatoes and helped to hold them in place. I disagreed, arguing that it was a lubricating agent and my tomato slices kept sliding out. This dialogue went on for quite a while until we had nothing left on which to experiment, so neither assertion was proven, but during the conversation, I noticed that the people who were lunching nearby had quietly moved further away. After we finished, Rick said that he thought that Mel Brooks would have paid good money for a transcript of our conversation.

Rick is …was - it's incredibly painful to use the past tense - a people person. When we first got to know each other, he asked about my life, my children, my businesses, and he remembered! During my worst days after my wife died, he commiserated with me. He was gentle, but there were limits. He explained that I was allowed to be sad and to feel sorrowful, but I was not allowed to feel sorry for myself. He just wouldn't stand for it, and every time he thought that I was falling into sorryness, he snapped me out of it.

Rick was a laugher. He laughed long, guffawingly loudly, and whole-heartedly. To see him laugh was to watch a man thoroughly enjoying himself. Once, at dinner, something struck him funny and he erupted in gales of laughter. Tears were rolling down his cheeks and he couldn't eat. I sat looking at him, wondering how an innocent remark could set him off, and I started laughing. Everybody in the restaurant turned to look at him, and soon everyone was laughing, which only made him laugh more.

One time, at lunch in the Park Diner, a woman who had been sitting nearby stopped at our table on her way out to tell us that it was a pleasure to watch the two of us enjoying each other's company. She regretted that she couldn't hear the conversation, only the laughter. Rick told her that if she's ever in the diner when we're there, she was welcome to join us.

Rick was the smartest person I knew. He could take raw data, information from many sources, arrange it and explain it. Explaining it is the talent. He had more knowledge about more subjects than anyone I ever met, and was able to put it into terms that others could understand. Probably why he was a teacher.

Rick was a thinker. He could absorb data, evaluate it, re-arrange it, form conclusions, and then explain his conclusions. And the data he used were not just from reports and studies, but also from real life experiences. In his thinking, his real life was not segregated from his work and study life. It all integrated into the same data pool that he drew upon daily. He drew conclusions based on facts, not on pre-conceived notions, and if the facts changed, or more became available, then the conclusions might have to change, too. The world has never had an excess of such people. Now, it is one short.

Rick used to wonder what James Madison was thinking and how he could have committed the abomination of writing "…a more perfect union…." in the preamble to the U. S. Constitution. I wonder if he found out.

He will be missed. The world needs more people like Rick and suffers for the lack. But the world doesn't know that, because most of the world didn't know him. More's the pity.

I was proud to be a friend. I will miss him.

Stanley Feigenbaum
July 9, 2011
Ustun Erguder:

Dear Rose,

The sad news came as a shock while we were eating at a reception. I could never think that Canan's wedding would be our last opportunity to see him. We should value every minute in our lives. It is really sad. Please accept our condolences and feelings from the depth of our hearts.

I passed the word around. Everybody who new Rick was shocked. He did so much for Bogazici graduates. They truly revere him. I also informed the Presidency of the University and the Department of Political Science. I thought they should know as Rick had a very special place in the institution with what he did for Bogazici graduates.

I know you are capable to handle most difficult situations. Nevertheless, if there is anything we can do please let us know. Both Gul hanim and Rick pasha more than deserve whatever we can give them.

Amities and smiles from Ruki and Ustun
July 9, 2011
Faika Erguder:

Dear Rose,

I don't know what to say..

Not so long ago I received your wonderful surprising mail. It was such a good and warm feeling to read your words after so many years. It was a very busy day in business, my son Cengiz just had an accident and injured his leg and I was rushing through the day; so getting news from you made me not only very happy but much more emotional. I wanted to answer you immediately but something came in between as usual and I found myself in my daily struggle losing sense of time.. I'm so very very sorry for not answering on time, please forgive me..

I really don't know what to say except that I feel deeply sad..
All my thoughts are with you. I wish you all, all the patience and strength you need..
I know we are very far away, but please know that we are always here if you should need us.

With all my love,
July 8, 2011

From Facebook
Kristin J. Bremer:
    Binghamton folks -- Rick Hofferbert died yesterday. I don't have details or where the funeral will be but will let you know when I find out. I'm shaken. I thought he would live to 100 purely on his cranky nature and love of life. Many hilarious memories coming back.
July 7, 2011

Dan Price:
    I am shocked and deeply saddened. He was a mentor and a friend. Ditto with the hilarious memories. I remember him yelling at someone to "stay the fuck off the mainframe".
July 8, 2011

Kristin J. Bremer:
    He taught me how to write and love politics. Remember -- "Data are plural" and "Don't get into a pissing match with a goat, you'll lose".
July 8, 2011

Frank Cohen:
     Linda called me immediately upon seeing your post. Thanks for letting us know. Yes, as Dan said, please let us know the info on the funeral. RIP, my dear friend and most esteemed mentor. I idolized him. My deepest condolences to the love of his life, Rose Hofferbert, as well as the rest of the family.
July 8, 2011

Linda Gordon-Cohen:
     I was so sad when I saw this. Kristin, thank you so much for posting this.
July 8, 2011

Shawna Sweeney:
     Though I'm saddened to hear of the passing of such a great scholar and spirited human being, I'm happy for his long, fulfilling life. We could all wish to be so fortunate. RIP Professor Hofferbert.
July 8, 2011

Dan Price:
     Yep, and to leave a legacy of so many students that we have profoundly influenced.
July 8, 2011

S Ebow Quainoo:
     Prof. Hofferbert taught me how to write. He fought for assistantship for me when my Albert Schweitzer graduate student assistanship ran out. He gave me his office when I had nowhere else to go! He chaired my dissertation! I owe a lot to Rick. May He Rest in Peace. Please let us know his burial arrangement.
July 8, 2011

Wendy Petersen:
    He was ornery, but he also had a strong sense of integrity that I feel is too rare in academia now. I remember him being vilified for criticizing admin. for denying a KKK representative an opportunity to rebut arguments on the student radio station, and subsequently allowing them to speak in his class. He told me he hated what they stood for, but the first amendment applied to everyone and that a university should stand as forum for free exchange of all ideas. He was one of the faculty senate members that my father most respected. And I wonder if he'd been my advisor, if I'd now have a PhD. RIP Hofferbert.
July 7, 2011

Mariana Worthington:
    My dearest sympathy and condolences go out to you. My heart is breaking for you. But I believe he is in a much better place, waiting for you? from the worthington family- we love you all and if you need anything let me know!:)"
July 8, 2011

Kristin J. Bremer:
    My deepest condolences for a great man. I loved him and he taught me well. Love Kristin.
July 8, 2011

Joanne Rasmussen:
    Dear Rose, We are so sorry to hear of Rick's passing. May your memories of him sustain you in the coming months. You are in our thoughts and prayers. David and Joanne
July 11, 2011

Rose Hofferbert:
     How wonderful to read your praise of Rick, thank you. He died, totally unexpectedly, of a heart attack. It was instantaneous and he may even have been napping when it happened. There will be a gathering of friends and family at our new house in Florida on Saturday, July 23.

N.L.M. Stam Tomita:

Dear, dearest Rose,

You both looked so well on our visit to Venice in April 2007 that the news of Rick’s passing has left us completely shell-shocked. In fact, you were poised to celebrate your status as full-time Floridians in your new home, but somehow the ironies of life with its twisted fate has sent us adrift into despair. We regret that conventions of the English language don’t allow us to express our inexpressible grief.

Now at his journey’s end, what remains with us is a sense of profound gratitude for the precious moments we had together in his “life beyond the profession”, as he would say: intense and provocative dialogues from morning to night, walks to the beach for a cup of coffee, memorable meals at home and favorite restaurants, hot rodding in his spiffed up convertible to take in the sunset, anecdotes about his encounters as chairman of the grounds and landscape committee of Bella Costa Condominium, sharing his absolute delight in being a loving husband, parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent. Had he known how proud we all are to have known him and how sorely he will be missed on both continents, he would have concluded that he hadn’t fared so badly after all. He had a rich and full life.

Let’s not seek to understand what is too difficult for us, nor search for what is hidden, nor be preoccupied with what is beyond, for he has shown us more than we can comprehend. Memories are now the source of peace, and these memories will linger on like sweet music long after the sun sets. Wherever he is, may we be also.

We bid a fond farewell to our dearest friend and colleague. Maile and Trevor join us in extending our deepest condolences to and your family. Our thoughts are with you.

Joop and Michiyo
July 7, 2011
David Besemer:

Aunt Rose,

I wanted to send you a short note to tell you how very sorry we all were to hear that Uncle Rick is no longer with us. I just can't believe it.

Some of my earliest memories include the two of you. Though often great distances separated us, we always managed to still get together and remain an important part or each other's lives. We cousins grew-up together and have a generation of second cousins who got to each other.

Knowing how much you love all of us, I can not imagine the loss you must feel now. Know that we all love you, care for you and will do anything we can to help. I wish I was there with you right now.

I'm sure we'll talk soon. In the mean time, please remember we all love you and are thinking of you.


Dave, Su, Abby & Drew
July 7, 2011
Jane Coutts:

I will not call you until you let me know you're ready to talk, but I couldn't NOT let you know how much both of us ache for you. I'll save the platitudes till later, but you will be in our thoughts and prayers CONSTANTLY these next few days. I feel like I have a rock in my abdomen ! Or a crack in my heart. And can only imagine what YOU are feeling.

Our FL group of ex-Binghamton U. folks will be much diminshed without Rick. He will be missed very, very much.

Much love, Jane
July 7, 2011
James Besemer:

Words cannot express my feelings about our loss. We all loved Rick and this was so incredibly unexpected. I still can hardly believe it. Of course nobody is impacted as much as you are. I'm sure you're still in shock. I want you to know that you're in my thoughts and my heart, wishing you strength to survive your time of loss. Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

July 7, 2011

Linda Besemer:


I am so shocked to hear of Rick's death. Please know that my thoughts are with you.

I know we haven't been able to spend much time together over these past years, but I want you to know what a huge influence you both have been in my life. I know that I wouldn't probably even thought of being a professor if it weren't for Rick. When I graduated from college, Rick said knowingly, "you like college life don't you?", like he already knew I wanted to be a professor. Then he said, "well lets look at your resume..." and he worked with me to put my resume together to apply for my first teaching job. I remember he joked, "Well you have a lot of teaching experience...but you'll have to beef up the exhibitions to get a job." So in a way, he also helped me start my career as an artist, which was motivated purely in pursuit of a college teaching position.

Rick will be very missed. I am so very very sorry to hear of his loss.

Much love, Linda B
July 7, 2011
Dear Rose -

I just heard your news! Unbelievable! Mike died just the same way... you have my DEEPEST sympathy. I'm glad the Krogers are looking after you. Please - when you have a sane moment - send me your telephone # so I can phone and talk to you. I'll be thinking of you and wishing I were there.

Love, hugs and sincere condolences
July 8, 2011
Dee Stalcup:

Oh, Rose, we are so terribly, terribly, terribly sorry. I know you don't want to talk with anyone just now, but we just want you to know how much we are thinking of you and sorrowing.

Don and Dee
July 7, 2011
Shiloh Thomas:

Dear Rose,

I just heard from my Mom that Rick passed away last night. I'm so sorry. I know that we have not talked much in the last several years, but I hope you both know how very much you both meant to me. Going to the Anderson Center with him for the ballet and orchestra while I was at Binghamton are very special memories for me that I will always remember. There was lots of laughter and love. I was in a big scary new place, and you both made me feel at home. Thank you.

If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. I don't know when or where you will be holding the services, but I'd like to come if I can.

Much love to you,

July 7, 2011

Jim , Sr.:

Dear Rose,

I hope that this first attempt conveys the depth of my pain. This is One. More to follow.

A Stab In My Heart

Come in, she said—
Calling me in from another world--
I have something to tell you.
Her voice said: this is bad and this is big.
This is very, very big and immensely bad.
Sit down.

I sat down and she told me.

A butcher knife pierced my heart.
Deepest sadness rushed through me.
I knew pain at a depth I had never known.

I wept, but
Not the tears which run down cheeks.
These were burning tears,
Gushing from my heart.
These inner tears, hot knives,
Worse than any yielded by curious sacs
Easing normal weeping,
Stabbed me in my heart.

July 7, 2011
Ailsa Donnelly:

My dear Rose:

We were in the wilds of rural Kansas, about to head for a Dairy Queen,when Martha called me this afternoon. We are both stunned and so very sorry, there are many more things I want to say, but just now I wanted you to know that we are thinking of you and worrying for you and sorrowing with you.

July 7, 2011
Hello Rose,

I am so sorry to hear of Ricks death. This must be a very hard time for you, please know that you are in my prayers. If you need someone to talk with I am always here for you.

Much love to you and family,
July 7, 2011

Alexa Schmidt:

Hi Rose,

I am so sad to hear the news. Thinking of you and remembering Rick's smiling face and happy times. I especially recall the time I ran into him on campus (many years ago). It was a surprise to see him that day and we had a nice talk as always.

Warm wishes and Hugs,

July 8, 2011
Sylvia Horowitz:

Oh my dear Rose.

Oh my God. Oh my God. I love you, Rose, and my heart is breaking with yours .

He WAS a great man. He had the biggest heart in the world. You've had such a wonderful long marriage together -- so many adventures. He took wonderful care of you, and saw you into your new house, where I hope you will stay. He used to say to Mike that he and Mike had this in common -- they both loved their wives.

Oh dear Rose, he loved you. You're a strong person, and somehow you'll be able to figure out what your life will be like. He'll always be with you.

Love Sylvia
July 8, 2011
Alenna McDonald:


Words ... won't come...just tears...Rick, larger than life in my eyes, my mind will not allow me to take this in...I can only imagine how you are feeling, or perhaps not is too, unreal . ..I am so sad and so very sorrow...

What can we do, where are you, here or Florida...I want to help, I am here if you want to talk, if you are in town, I can be there in a second, pick things up, sit quietly, listen, remember, laugh and cry ...whatever you need Rose, please let me know.

When Michael got your e-mail and told me Rick passed away...instantly... a picture came to my mind...We were standing together in Wassanar, in front of a candy store, he had just bought a piece for each of us, and he was taking his first bite...sheer delight on his face...happy, in the moment...I loved Rick...he is in my heart forever, along with the many, many beautiful memories...You and Rick have impacted our life in more ways than you will ever know...Love you Rose...Please send me a phone number where I can reach you... sending Love, Light & much love your way.

July 8, 2011
Dearest Rose,

No words can express our feeling when we read your message transferred by Sylvia. It is so sudden and so sad that we cannot believe your husband passed away. The memory of the B-Mets game night (and fireworks lost) is still very clear in our mind. We even remember the design of additional clothing that Richard and Kazu bought as it was a bit chilly night. We never doubted that we would see you two again in Florida to enjoy wonderful nature there.

Please accept our deepest condolences. Although far apart on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, our hearts are always beside you as we were in Vestal.

Love always,

Tomoko + Kazu
July 8, 2011
Stan Pelter:

So sorry to hear the sad news.

Gloria and Stan
July 8, 2011

Lucie Nelson:

Dear Rose,

Phillip and I are deeply sorrowed by the news of Rick's death. It is a shock to think that such a dynamic person can be gone in an instant without warning in such a mundane way, after a normal day of errands and lunch. You have had no chance to adjust to the loss and being alone. I'm glad you have friends around, but wish you were here so we could all help with the void in your life. We don't even have your address in Florida. I know I will be thinking of you and Rick all day.

Love, Lucie (and Phillip)
July 8, 2011
Gun Kut:

Dear Rose,

It’s with great sorrow that we learned about the passing away of our beloved Hofferbert Hoca. Ustun Bey called this morning to give us the sad news. Rick has been a very important person in our lives; we learned so much from him and we owe him so much, both personally and professionally. We will allways remember his hot discussions in the clasroom, his principled but human style, and above all, his warm friendship. Deniz, for whom “Hofferbert” was not only an everyday name in our home, but also a distant but surprisingly clear memory of his childhood in Binghamton, is also saddened. We share your pain and send you our sincere condolences.

Gün and Sule
July 8, 2011
Ali Carkoglu:

Dear Rose, I am very sad to hear Rick's death. Don't know what to say. I rang bells to his ears as we say in Turkey, quite often when I lecture and give examples that I remember hearing from Rick at graduate school.

He will be fondly remembered in this part of the world as well. As you well know he had a significant influence over so many of our generation of political scientists here in Turkey.

My parents and Gul are also sending their condolences.

With sorrow,
Ali Carkoglu
July 8, 2011
Janis Bearss-Garcia:

Dear Rose,

So sorry to hear of Dick passing.I will keep you in my prayers. May the Lord comfort your heart. I can't imagine what a shock this is for you and your family. "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many dwellings; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." This was my mother's favorite verse . John 14: 1. May it give you some comfort.

July 8, 2011

Daphne Sola:

Dearest Rose,

It's not a time when words should fail, but what else do we have when we receive such sad news?

I want to beat my fists against a wall, turn time back, all the things that are either impossible or bring nothing to our pain. I know you will have family and friends to lend presence at a time when there is really no consolation, but their presence alone is meaningful.

I send you the words that came rushing out of me, in the hope they might help you to bear the unbearable,

With all the love I can muster at such a distance,



My friend, Rick,
Should be Our friend, Rick,
But therein lies another loss,
And we who mourn
Reduce ourselves to single pronouns. . .
For all the love of friends
And brothers
Mourning turns out to be
A single state.

I want to call him Rick, the Insouciant,
A French word coming to mind
Because I know he would give
His Hoffie laugh
And point his finger at me, saying,
“There she goes again,
Putting on airs,”
And because his closeness
To the Germanic
Belies his lightness and humor,
And his willingness to tolerate
Friends of very different political persuasion
As well as a woeful lack of skill
In playing pinochle.

Our gatherings, no matter the place,
Were always celebratory
A jumble of good cooking
And high-decible arguments in
Istanbul, Binghamton, Puerto Rico, Ithaca,
But the song I hear
The song I remember
Is DonandDaphne
Our friendship was the music
In our lives
Never silent
Never to be forgotten.

daphne solá
july 8 2011

Elizabeth T Tricomi:

Dear Rose,

I wanted to write you a "real" letter, but neither Sylvia nor I have your Florida address so I've resorted to email. Both Al and I were shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Rick's death and feel so bad for you both. Your email to Sylvia captures so poignantly the unreality of this happening at this particular time and in the way it did.

When I think of Rick, I remember especially all his warm-hearted support for my work in the Writing Center. Then there were those wonderful Fourth of July picnics and, in recent years, nice encounters at the Vestal Farmers' Market. Rick certainly had a "big" personality and I know he affected many lives deeply and positively.

I'm sure this is a very difficult time for you, and there's probably not much anyone can say that will help much, but I hope you will be helped some by knowing how many people are thinking about you and wishing you the very best. I also hope that you'll continue to head north in the summer and come hiking with your many friends in the Hiking Group.

Bet and Al
July 9, 2011
Thomas Pasquarello:

Dear Rose,

Thank you very much for writing us. Nan and I are deeply saddened by the news. We both loved him, and I especially considered him both mentor and dear friend. I remember the first time Rick invited me to his office for a glass of sherry like it was yesterday. It made me feel like I was a colleague rather than just a student. For the rest of my time at Binghamton I'd often hang around his office on Fridays hoping he'd ask me again, and he often did. I have many fond memories of our camping trips and winter cross-country skiing weekends. On one camping trip at Lake Lila he told David and I that he "wanted to bring red wine, but Rose made me bring whiskey because that's what men do." On that same trip he spent a whole afternoon collecting several dozen fresh-water mussels. He boiled them and whipped up a cocktail sauce with ketchup and whatever else we had in our packs, and served us all a heaping platefull. David and I ate one apiece, but Rick ate 3 or 4 before he'd admit that they tasted like rubber, only chewier. Thanks to you we had whiskey to make the whole thing funnier and funnier as the evening wore on, and I can still hear our laughter echoing over the lake. Rose, Rick often spoke of you with great love when we were together, and I know he considered himself truly fortunate to have a wonderful wife and a wonderful family. I wish we could be there on July 23 to laugh and cry with you, but instead Nan and I will have a shot of whiskey in Rick's memory.

Tom and Nan
July 9, 2011
Dear Rose,

Unbelievable news arrived. It is difficult to understand how you must feel. Rick was always very upbeat about everything, and we are so sorry that we did not see more of you, after your move to Florida.

You have many good memories and hopefully the sorrow will be replaced by them as time goes on.

Also the “Florida group” appears to be keeping you company, and you have many friends. One day we’ll hope to join you all for a southern visit. If you ever feel inclined to come to Boston, of course we’d love to have you here.

Time flies, and we are preparing for our respective summer adventures. Philip will be off to the Rep. of Georgia for his beloved research projects (no he has not retired yet!!!). I will head for our place in Sweden, to join the ”children” and grandchildren.

I meant to send you a card, but realized that I don’t have your address.

Our thoughts are with you!

Love, Philip and Berit
July 10, 2011

James Bolner, Sr.

Dear Rose,

You are so good to write this message. Smittie and I will be happy to speak at the gathering. We will talk with you about it, but, yes, count on us.

I didn't write about him today, but I have had him (and you) in my heart all day.

I'm glad that Sam was there with you and sorry that he had to leave.

I know that this is the hardest/most difficult thing you have ever done. But you have the strength. Draw strength from all those memories, which are more than memories, of your times together. Together. Intimately together.

I'm glad that you like the fountain. It is a work of art.

Please let us know of anything else we can plan, etc. We are with you.
July 10, 2011
Daniel Price:

Dear Rose:

I did see your response to Kristin's facebook post. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to Florida. However, I will be there in spirit. I did not know that you had permanently relocated to Florida.

Some of the memories that I would share include sitting around a conference table in one of Rick's seminars discussing our research projects. He had amazing in his ability to offer blunt and very necessary criticism and then follow up with praise and encouragement. His love of scholarship and research was infectious. Another would be the day that he taught me how to drive the lawn tractor in preparation for my first summer housesitting. In that area, I was quite the slow learner and Rick said "Price, I realize that you might not be mechanically minded but, Jesus Christ; if your people over in Israel can make the desert bloom, you can learn how to operate a xxxxxx lawn tractor." I'm still laughing at that one. I also remember sitting by the pond having a drink on during my last visit to 987 Tracy Creek Road and chatting about our lives. My fondest memory is of the gathering of my friends prior to my wedding when he sang my praises and said that I brought a sense of spirituality to a place (the political science dept.) that really needed it. That one brought tears to my eyes.

There is no way that I could every be as happy as I was on my wedding day, as it will always be the happiest day of my life. It has been four years since we moved to Western Mass. We purchased a house three years ago, which we are enjoying. For me, the five college area is the perfect place to live. My job at Westfield State is fine but not great. I enjoy teaching but find my students to mostly be there to put in there time and get their degree. They demonstrate little in the way of intellectual curiosity of love of learning but, what else is new? We have a crazy woman in the dept. who has been out to expose as racist, homophobe, misogynist, cretins. Again, what else is new (and I say this as a card carrying ACLU liberal)? All in all, its a good life. Bonnie has struggled in finding a job that she finds rewarding and misses Boston. However, she also likes life here in the Valley. I am writing a book on religion on terrorism, which I need to finish by the end of the year. It is difficult to write with a 4-4 teaching load, doing my own grading, and no graduate assistants. Finally, Santino, our cat, is now seven and provides us with hours of fun and entertainment. He's almost like a dog

With warmest regards and support

July 11, 2011
Tina Bruner:

Rose, I am speechless. My heart is breaking for you and I am so sorry for this.
I know you have a lot of friends around you but you can never have enough right now, so know that we are here for whatever you need.
Jeramiah, Jodey and I are all thinking of you, we are so glad to have known Rick for the time we did and value your friendship.
We want so much to be there for you so let us know how we can be, otherwise please put us on notice for the funeral so we can be there.
All our love

Tina Bruner
July 11, 2011

James Bolner, Sr.

Dear Rose,

Here is poem number 2. I think it will make you cry and I regret that.

How He Was

Strong, thick were his arms, and
His hands large, strong.
Gentle were his eyes, and
His heart warm, gentle.

When he embraced you,
He gave an embrace,
He took you in, wrapped you
With arms, strong, thick.

When he talked, he talked directly,
His mind leaping from context to connection,
From historical event to arcane data.
He was a grammarian, a stickler,
A picky speaker, a picky thinker.

He was not easily satisfied.
No proposition was lucid enough,
No answer precisely fit its question,
No idea sacred,
Except that all must be questioned
And made clear.

He was uneasy around mediocrity,
He suspected all who claimed nobility,
He was irreverent, funny.
He was loyal beyond belief.

Gatherer of data,
Student of contexts and connections,
Tinkerer, lover of beautiful people,
Lover of ideas and the rich texture of events--
He was a strong, gentle, loving man.

July 9, 2011
Joan Eisch:

Dear Rose,

Yes. we were sitting there in our family room with the Sterlings when you phoned with the saddest news we could imagine. We were (and are) numb with disbelief..Richard was such a presence and looked so hale and hearty. I hate this impersonal way to write you so do pass along your new mailing address but we did want you to know that you are in our thoughts and Richard is in our prayers. Actually, he was such a giving person to others, I doubt that he needs them but we want to be sure he gets things under good control up there before we arrive. I know Mary Jo will be as stunned as well and she gave me such a lovely report on your new home. It’s all such an unbelievable train of events for you. All we can do is give you support from afar but be assured you have a whole flock of supporters back here that are willing to lend an ear or cry with you.

I am sure there are many readers of BU’s Dateline that would want to be informed. You can access them at and or
With loving thoughts,
Joan (and Jack)
July 10, 2011

Judith Budge:

Dear Rose

I have just got back from a few days in Edinburgh, Ian stayed up there to meet an old friend. We are both devastated to hear your sad news that Rick has died and both of us feel dreadfully sad. He has been such an important figure in our lives!

Our thoughts are with you at this time. There is such a lot to be seen to.

Dear Rose I need time to come to terms with all this and can only say that I am glad Rick was saved a long illness. Do take good care of yourself. Ian comes back on Tuesday and we will be in closer touch then. Your very sad friend

July 10, 2011
Charles Barrilleaux:

Dear Rose,

This is sad news, and a shock. I was just thinking about bothering Rick to read a chapter of a text I am writing. I am so sorry for your and your sons' loss. I'll tell Bob Crew, David Rasmussen, and others that I think of here in Tallahassee. Rick was a great teacher, a good friend, and one of the most interesting people I've known. I am really sad to hear this news.

July 7, 2011
Charles Barrilleaux:

Dear Rose,

I understand that you must be really overwhelmed right now, but I was wondering whether Rick's memorial service will be something that Bob Crew and I could attend. If so, please let us know the date and time so that I can rearrange some travel plans. I hope things are going as well as could be expected for you. Rick had a lot to do with whatever success I've enjoyed and I'd like to pay my respects.

July 8, 2011

Doris Jewell:

Dear Rosie,

I remember back like it was yesterday that you all came over when Dick was visiting, and what a great time we had! That is all we have now......good memories!

We must thank God that he did not suffer.

My love, thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. I am hopeful we will be able to get together, and that I can make a return to Fla. even if it is briefly. I have so many things to do there too!

Love & God Bless,
Doris Jewell
July 10, 2011
Janet Chandler:

Dearest Rose,

Almost forty of us were gathered in Sylvia and Michael's backyard, last evening, for a cookout that was both happy and sad. You may have felt the sincere and loving thoughts sent your way as we had a moment of silence to remember Rick and happy times together. He will be greatly missed and honored.

I wish you an extra measure of courage, which I know you have in abundance. I'm sure the thought that, when our time comes or that of someone we love dearly, dying in such a peaceful way as Rick did must be of some consolation. Quite a few tears were shed here as we got the news, and we all send our deepest sympathy.

Janet Chandler

p.s. I would've much preferred to write a real letter to you and hope to get your address, eventually
July 11, 2011
Betty Jo Boyer:


There are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. I feel like I'm still in shock over the news. I've called Janice Dolph, Connie (Shadbolt now), and Gwin. Actually, I talked to Jim (Gwin's husband) and he said he probably wouldn't tell Gwin. She's in early dementia and he was afraid that telling her would cause even more confusion----at least, for a little while. I think everyone in our class has been notified. Everyone I spoke with sends loving thoughts to you.

There's a Native American "saying" that I love-----"The soul can have no rainbows if the eyes have no tears." May the days ahead allow you to enjoy many rainbows as you remember your wonderful life with Richard and let your tears be a gift from God as it is meant to be.

Many, many hugs and much love!

Betty Jo
July 9, 2011
Mary Ellen Sheridan:

Dear Rose,

Jan Peter forwarded your email to Silvia Horowitz which had been shared with a wider group of your Binghamton friends. I was shocked to read about Rick’s sudden passing. Life (and death) are so unpredictable. And just a few weeks earlier we had that unexpected meeting in the Turkish restaurant where you and Rick talked so enthusiastically about the move and your plans to just sit back and enjoy many good years together.

Know that you have my deepest sympathies, Rose. It’s good know you have family and many dear friends to support you over the painful present and then wonderful memories for the future.

Take care,
Mary Ellen
July 8, 2011
Richard Rose:

Dear Rose,

I was saddened to receive your email about Rick. I will always remember a very pleasant night at your farm house in NY state, and also Rick's enthusiasm and vivid ways of expressing himself.

By coincidence, on Wednesday Rosemary and I will be going to Berlin for a week. When I am in an S Bahn train passing where the Wall used to be will think of the cold evening in early 1990 when the four of us went up to the Wall after dinner to enjoy the pleasure of seeing the start of transformation. We still have some pieces of the Wall as a souvenir.

Our sympathies to you and your family.

July 9, 2011
Marita Inglehart:

Dear Rose,

My deepest sympathy for you and your family. This news was a real shock for Ron and me and we cannot imagine how difficult it must be for you. Our thoughts are with you.

I phoned Ute and Hans-Dieter and let them know right away because I know how close the 4 of you are. We all are extremely sad that this happened.

We send you a big hug from Ann Arbor.
Love. Marita
July 8, 2011
Ronald Inglehart:

Dear Rose,
Rick's departure is a great loss. I send my deep condolences.
I'll notify the department and the people at ISR.
Of all the old gang who were at Michigan and left, I missed him the most.

Best wishes,
July 7, 2011

Marita and I have been thinking of you often during the last few days.
I really miss Rick. Could you tell me your new address in Florida? Warm best wishes,

Cagla Inselbag:

Dear Rose,

I am so sorry to hear this news! It didn't feel right when I looked at the subject.. And I was right. It was this shocking news.

I am in Istanbul and will be returning to Philadelphia beginning of August. Please let me know when you come to visit Alex and the baby. I hope to see you soon. Take good care of yourself. My condolences to you and your family..

Cagla Inselbag
July 9, 2011
Dora E Polachek:

Dear Rose,

Mike McDonald sent an e-mail to Sol, and both of us were so so shocked and saddened to hear the news.Rick was such a warm, kind and generous human being who impressed us so much.

Please accept our condolences, and excuse this very informal message.

Is there a charity to which we can make a contribution in memory of Rick?

With sadness, and condolences to you and the family
Dora and Sol
July 10, 2011
Josi Lewis:

Dear Rose,

While it was merciful for Rick to go in such a manner, I am sorry more than words can express for your shock and sorrow at this time. It was inspirational to see the great love you two shared for one another. I am profoundly sorry for your great loss. Many prayers will be said for you.

Love, Josi
July 7, 2011
Canan Erguder:

Dearest Rose,

I heard the news and I am speechless. Quite frankly, words are failing me. I am so sorry for your loss, for our loss. I wish you and all your family patience in this sorrowful time.

Love you as always,

Canan Erguder
July 10, 2011

Oh Rose I am so sorry. My heart breaks for you he was a good man. We did my parents ashes this week and I thought of you guys. I will let my family know.
I am so very sorry for you...Anne
July 11, 2011
Jeramiah Bruner:


I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great man and somone I always enjoyed being around. I want you to know I am very sorry and the world will miss his life spirit and kindness and I will miss his friendship. If you ever need anything, just ask
July 11, 2011
Lynne Geiger:

Oh dear Rose,

I just heard and I am so sorry - my heart is just breaking for you. I know how hard this is. If there is anything at all that you need, just say so. Rick was such a wonderful man - I am so blessed to have the two of you as friends.

July 11, 2011
Dear Rosie,

The information from Rick's sudden death shocked us very much. We send you our hearty concolences. Our thoughts are near you and your family.

In Love Monika u. Werner
July 11, 2011
Michael Drudge:

Dear Rose:

I am shocked beyond belief. God bless you and help you. We will make plans to go there, and in the meantime our prayers are with you and yours.
Love, Mike.
July 7, 2011
Ruth & Arthur Levy:

Dear Rose, Arthur & I were shocked and saddened to learn of Rick's death. We are thinking of you and know that with the support of friends and family you will weather this terrible shock and loss.

Best wishes,
Ruth & Arthur
July 13, 2011
Judy Harley:


My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry that Rick has gone from your sight. Believe me he will always be right there with you no matter how it may feel. I know you are a strong and couragous woman. You will make it.

All of us here at Meals on Wheels are with you in spirit and we will continue to hold you in our hearts and prayers during this most difficult time.

July 11, 2011
Scott Pandich:

I was saddened to read of Prof. Hofferbert's passing this morning. Some of my fondest memories of grad school are the result of his infectious good humor, and ever since his distinctive way of correcting my error in one of my papers, I have never forgotten that "data" is a plural noun. He was a great teacher and a great fellow, and so it is only appropriate that he will be greatly missed.

Scott Pandich
July 11, 2011

W.James Besemer:

Rick was my brother-in-law and we were more like brothers. We loved each other just like we were in fact truly brothers. I will miss him beyond belief. We had many good times together. When my first wife passed away, he wrote a beautiful obituary to her memory. We were collaborating on a family tree that was not yet completed and now may never see completion.

W.James Besemer
July 11, 2011
Frank Cohen:

My mentor and, given how he shaped my life and disposition, as close as possible as anyone can be to a third parent. His influence on me as a scholar, teacher, and, as a man is immeasurable. Rick was filled with an infectious joy of life and a passion for the academic endeavor that was contagious. He lives on in the vivid and wonderful memories that I along with numerous others have of him. Bless you, Rose and the family. So sorry for your loss.

Frank Cohen
July 11, 2011
Shawna Sweeney:

So sorry for your loss, Rose. My heart goes out to you.

Professor Hofferbert was a great scholar and an equally great teacher with a deep passion for his work. May all the happy memories you have of Rick guide you through this very difficult time. God bless you and your family.

Shawna Sweeney
July 11, 2011
Penny Maddy:

The family of James and Beverly Edwards send our love to The Hofferbert family. We all enjoyed so many wonderful times with you. Our parents enjoyed traveling with you both and many wonderful times on Tracy Creek Road. The good times at the pig roasts and making sure our mother brought her baked beans.
Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Penny Maddy
July 12, 2011
Maureen Stover Skurek:


Rick was my Dad's cousin and although I only met him once, he was an incredibly interesting man. My family is especially grateful that he shared his genealogical research on the Stover family with us. I am so sorry for your loss.

Maureen Stover Skurek
July 12, 2011
Meg and Tony Atkins:

I hate to write by email and shall write properly later, but I was so distressed to hear of Rick's passing. What a terrible shock for you, though probably a wonderful way for him to go. Too young, though. Tony is away at the moment, but I shall tell him as soon as he returns. He will be very shocked. We send you all our love and prayers and do please keep in touch.

Tony and I have such happy memories of summer parties with Rick and Rose in Ann Arbor. Their wonderful kindness to us and especially when our first son was born and I was far from home. I also enjoyed working with Rick at the ISR in Michigan. What a sad loss.

Meg and Tony Atkins
July 14, 2011
David Cingranelli:


We just returned home and received this terrible news. We are very sorry for your loss. I will contact Michael today to talk about an appropriate way to recognize Rick's professional accomplishments and contributions to Binghamton University.

Again, our most sincere condolences and best wishes,

David Cingranelli
July 13, 2011
Dear Rose,

We are shocked and saddened to learn of Rick's sudden death. We appreciate your sending word of it to us. We will get the details from the papers you mentioned. We have heard from at least 6 people at Bella Costa about his death. He was such a special friend and we always appreciated being with you both. Max Good called us first, and then Ron called him back to learn more about how it happened. Ron will remember his Friday morning breakfasts with him. God bless you and all the family.

We send our love.
Jan and Ron Aronson
July 11, 2011
B Norcross:

Dear Rose

We are so sorry.

We plan to attend your gathering on July 23. We have made lodging arrangements. We expect to arrive early mid-afternoon on Friday.

Our thoughts and wishes are with you, and you have all our love and affection.

Bruce and Marjorie
July 12, 2011

Dr. Max Kaase:

Dear Rose,

Petra and I are presently on the road in Germany,and when ckecking our email off and on we had already received the message from the Klingemanns on Ricks passing away before hearing from you. We would, of course, have written to you right away, but did not have your email address which we now have after receiving your mail.

We were absolutely shocked when hearing about Ricks death because we were under the impression that your new life together down in Florida was rhe beginning of an episode of sun, water and leisurely sports with occasional visits from family and friends. This dream has now suddenly and unexpectedly come to an end; and in these days our hearts and thoughts are with you and your children, and it is impossible to think that Rick will no longer be a part of this. Needless to say that my (and later Petras) thoughts return to happy days in particular in Ann Arbor at your farm house, but also in Vestal.There are so many episodes to remember, like Rick sitting in my Mustang and praying to God because my driving was to fast for him And we, with especially the Klingemanns, had also a noteworthy professional and successful life with Rick and eg the German Electoral Data Project when he was ICPR Director.

Dear Rose, our thoughts are with you and the family, and we hope that our contact will not fade away into darkness.

Take care, and feel hugged and kissed by Petra and Max
July 12, 2011
Seneca Thomas:

Dear Rose,

It has been far too long since I have written you and I wish that I had written you sooner. My mother just told me about Rick and I was sorry to hear it. He was a complicated man and I can't imagine how different life is without his presence, but I am glad he passed without the fanfare of a complicated mechanical malingering. We should all be so lucky.

I miss you Rose. Of everyone that Mark brought in to my mother's life, I honestly miss you the most. You were sweet to me and more importantly, to my mother and I will always love you for that. I would imagine that you have good people in Florida to surround yourself with, but if you would like to have a talk sometime, I would be delighted to hear from you.

I think I should tell you a bit about what I am up to these days: I just finished my second year of Medical School at St George's University which is based from Grenada in the Caribbean for the first 2 years and NYC for the second 2 years. I begin Clinical Rotations (internship) in Queens, NYC starting August 1st and have another 2 years of formal schooling, though I have completed the vast majority of the classroom learning. With any luck, I will have finished med school in 2013 and will be a practicing physician in 2017, but I am not yet sure which specialty will belong to me...

I have also taken up photography and will be sure to send you a few photos if you'd care to see them.

Much love Rose,

July 12, 2011
Maria Cingranelli:

Dear Rose,

We made our arrangements to come to Rick's memorial service. We will arrive in Florida early Friday afternoon. I have never been at a loss for words with you my friend but my heart is broken for you and there are no words. There isn't much time in a day that goes by since you called on July 7th when Rick isn't in our thoughts. Today when we were talking of him we both said that when we thought of him each of us remember him doing things like hiking, out having dinner, sharing stories and etc. Our thoughts are filled with good things. We think of that wonderful smile with those pink cheeks and that belly laugh. Bigger than life is how we remember him and always will. We love you Rose and will always be here for you.

Our love to Mark, Sam and Alex We are so very sorry.

Maria and David
July 12, 2011

Helga Neumeyer:

Liebe Rosemarie,

heute rief Ruth bei mir an, Steffen hätte eine schlimme Nachricht aus Amerika erhalten. Rick wäre an einem Herzinfarkt ge- storben. Wir sind alle sehr betroffen und traurig über den plötzlichen Tod von Rick und sind in Gedanken bei Dir. Auch wenn es der Weg ist, den wir alle gehen müssen, so ist der Abschied, zumal vom Ehemann sehr schmerzlich.

Dir und Deiner ganzen Familie gilt unser herzliches Beileid, wir wünschen Euch allen viel Kraft für die nächste Zeit In herzlicher Verbundenheit

Helga und Edgar Sabine Bettina mit Familie
July 12, 2011
Joan Eisch:

Wonderful, comforting note. We are all still in disbelief that he’s gone. Very nice death notice appeared in the Press this morning with the details of the memorial fund that Rose has set up at BU. Mickey told me that they had each written their obits themselves quite awhile ago. We did have a time of silence in Rick’s memory at the picnic yesterday. Sterlings just left for a week up in Canada on Wolf Island with old friends. They had been with us since Thursday so it was comforting to be able to share our feelings about this tragedy with people who knew him so well.

Ah, life....................Joan
July 11, 2011
Dianne Morgan:

Dear Rose,

I don't have any words to describe how I feel. I've been trying to compose an email or phone call to you in my mind, and nothing I can come up with expresses it. What a loss we all have experienced, but especially you. Of course I will be there. I was going to call and tell you as soon as I had a ticket. I have the Friday and Monday off that weekend, but still have to get my ticket. I would love to be a part of the celebration of his life in whatever way you want. Did you have a song in mind?

Much love,

July 12, 2011

Erica and Tom Burkert:

To Rose and family,

We are saddened to hear of Rick's passing. 987 Tracy Creek Road was yours and his for 30 some years, and you lovingly handed it over to us 6 years ago. From our stance, we know that he really nurtured and treasured this wonderful home and property, and that legacy surely flourishes. We wish you a long life cultivating memories with friends and family. What a blessing to have shared a part of yours with him!

Take care, and find peace and blessings in each day!

Erica and Tom Burkert
July 12, 2011
Gloria and Joseph Hirschbein:

Our condolences to you and your family.

Gloria and Joseph Hirschbein
July 14, 2011
Mary Spielman:

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Mary and Steven Spielman
July 14, 2011
Nancy Dickson:

There is no point in moping although I know it must be hard and I am very sorry to lose Rick. We have to manage, don't we! Life is a puzzlement. I hope to see you in November.
July 15, 2011
Connie Grote:

For Richard Hofferbert by Connie Grote

May your heart soar, may your soul fly
In billowing waves of rapture across the sky
No more these earthly chains to bind your human flesh or the mind
Soar, my friend, and forever be in spacious, gracious eternity
No rest on cotton-soft clouds, gaze on star-studded velvet skies
Cling to our forever love as your spirit flows
And knows--All is well here on earth
Farewell, goodbye, adios amigo
Fly, soar, forever more

July 15, 2011
James Bolner, Sr.:

Dear Rose,

I pray that the hardness of your day has been softened by the memory of his love.

Here is something for you.

I Envy

I envy all those Turks, Dutch, Germans, Americans,
Who got to spend more time in his world than I.
I envy their being there when he expounded--
With all the tentative certainty of a true thinker--
Upon earth’s best this, and earth’s best that.
I envy all those who knew his very loud laughter
Better than I did, and
Those who knew him when he was in Nepal, and
Those who knew him at those long and boring
Political science panels,
Where his voice would be excited, and

His body’s rhythm would keep the cadence
Of his speech.
I envy those who were there when he drank a little too much, and
When he sang and shouted a little too much, but

I rejoice with his wife and sons and grandchildren.
They will always have the hard, rich, and sure memory
Of his wholeness.

July 11, 2011

Larry and Helen LeDuc:

We are shocked! We will laugh, cry and talk about Rick from here in Gananoque. Our hugs for you are unlimited.

Larry and Helen LeDuc
July 15, 2011
Judith Budge:

Dear Rose

I have been away and just read your e-mail. As Judy wrote we are absolutely desolated. Even though we haven't been able to meet up in recent years Rick was often with us in the form of stories and sayings and countless happy memories of times with you both in Binghamton and Berlin ( and Florida and Colchester and NIAS) and will continue to be. We always think of you together! You will miss him like losing a part of yourself.

We know how supportive Mark and Sam and Alex will be but Rick leaves a gaping hole.

With this message I am sending a the dedication that we mean to put on the 'NIAS book' which originated as Rick's project. Michael and David are organizing a memoir from various friends and colleagues for PS, the newsletter of the American Political Science Association (and I'll see if I can also get it into the ECPR Newsletter). I thought that you all might like to have my appreciation from the professional side which was always a personal one as well. More later when you are less rushed.

Our love and sympathy to everyone,

Ian and Judith
July 16, 2011
Deborah Williams:

Dear All,

We read with shock in today's Press & Sun Bulletin that Rose Hofferbert's husband Richard died suddenly on Wednesday July 6th in their new home in Florida. Since Rose left the Shakespeare Club so very recently, it has been decided that the Club will make a $50 contribution in Richard's name to the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University.

Deborah Williams
July 11, 2011
Kim Longworth:

Oh, Rose.......

I am so, so sorry. Thank you so much for letting me know when you have so much more on your mind. Please know that you, Mark, Sam, and your extended family are in my thoughts. Rick was the best. I'll never have as good a cuppa again.

Kim Longworth
July 17, 2011
Arieh Ullmann:

I have very fond memories of Rick as a colleague, his infectious laughter, his disdain for silly bureaucratic rules at universities and anywhere else and of our chats about our stays at the WZB.

Arieh Ullmann
July 17, 2011

DeWayne Lucas:

Dearest Rose,

Professor McDonald informed me of the unexpected news about Professor Hofferbert days ago and since then, I’ve been trying to find the words to express my personal sadness at the passing of this good man. Partly filled with regret for not more actively staying in regular contact with you two, but also with the thoughts of the happy, trying, and challenging memories from my time with him and you at Binghamton, I could only say to others initially that he would be missed. What does one say about the passing of a teacher, mentor, and friend who contributed so much?

I remember my second year at Binghamton—the two of you were just returning from Europe—and the trepidation I had about taking a class with Professor Hofferbert (yes, I still think of him as and call him by Professor), a man whose reputation rang throughout the department even in his absence. Slowly over that semester my trepidation waned, my confidence in myself expanded, and my writing and presentation skills were sharpened. He challenged and encouraged me as he had done with so many other classmates, and I think, our friendship grew from that moment. I find myself now quite often repeating Hofferbert-isms to my students, encouraging them with the advice and concern that he passed to me. He was truly a great person to know, to work with, and to learn from. From the cookouts and wine tours to the classroom and dissertation defense, Professor Hofferbert made being a graduate student exciting for me and help me become the professor I am now.

My parents join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to you. They remember their trips and conversations with you both and ask about you often. You were both so wonderful to them when they visited, along with my brother, aunts, and cousins. They felt welcomed into our academic and personal space, even if they didn’t always participate in our conversations. They felt a sense of mutual respect, of camaraderie, and of academic development that justified this experience and that exemplified much of our relationship. I am happy that they had a chance to meet Professor Hofferbert and you.

I unfortunately will not be able to make the services later this week, but know that I will be thinking of you often in the days and months to come. I am always an email away.

July 18, 2011
Jim Hoffman:

Dear Rose

My condolences to you & your family. I am so sorry, as Rick was way too young. He was a favorite friend of mine all through high school, as you well know.

I do remember his telling me that he had heart trouble at our last reunion. I cherish the many memories that we had together growing older. So much fun & I always admired him, & looked to his leadership as we grew. I still remember our working together at the A&P store on Western Ave. Also how he got me a job working with him for JC Penny Co. I also remember how his life changed so much after meeting & falling in love with you. He was the happiest guy. It was an honor to know Rick as my favorite friend. Hold your faith close to you Rosie. Some day we shall all meet again for a very joyful reunion.

God be with you
July 18, 2011
Mark and Lucy Barnes:

Dear Rose

We are so sorry for your loss and devastated at the same time. We all loved him. To us, you and Rick were such a joy to be around. You both were always there for my Mom and just makes me cry. This has got to be the hardest time ever.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. I want to send a card and would like your address if you have time.

Much love,
Mark and Lucy Barnes
July 18, 2011
Dear Rose,

May you find comfort in God's word and in the knowledge that God hasn't promised we will not have grief but He does promise to always be near and to help us in our need when we call on Him.

July 18, 2011
Sonia Kessler:

Hi Rose-

Such sad news- I so liked your husband and enjoyed talking to him- he was always so incredibly nice to me- you had such a lovely life together. Living without him will be so hard, but you have fabulous things to remember. I will keep in touch.

Sunni Kessler
July 19, 2011
Marilyn Myers:

Dear Rose,

Especially in this month of July picnics I remember many good times with you and Rick. He gave such good hugs and was always articulate about what and who was important to him, mainly you!

Even this far away, I feel some of how bereft you must feel with the sudden loss of your life together. I wish more of your northern friends could add to the sad celebration this weekend.

What a beautiful obituary you crafted! It gave a flavor of the many high points in his professional and personal life.

I send good wishes for healing and solace in the days ahead,

Marilyn Myers
July 19, 2011

Meg Mitzel:

Pat and I wanted to let you know that Rick and you were a big presence here when we arrived in 1997. I always enjoyed the fall walks and get togethers at the farm.

We were so sorry to hear the news.

I know you have a big transition ahead and it won’t be easy but we wish you well.

Meg Mitzel and Pat Regan
July 19, 2011
Hans-Dieter, Ute & Julia Klingemann:

Dear Rose, Mark and Sam,

I have written earlier that Ute and I will not be able to come to Venice. We have put together some thoughts and dug out some old pictures. You'll get hardcopies via mail. Today I send a pdf version as well as a power point file. If you want to read our memory to the others you can use the power point file to project the photographs. We Berliners are with you in spirit and we mourn with you. Take all our love and hugs and kisses,

Hans-Dieter, Ute & Julia
July 19, 2011
Sylvia Horowitz:

Dear dear Rose,

This story is pieced together from what I already knew and what Rick later told me.

Rick invited some members of the Ku Klux Klan to speak to his class. Every member of the class had given permission, and it was a good educational idea. Word got out, and the campus went ballistic. One black faculty member screamed that she no longer felt SAFE on this campus. Rick began to be shunned. One noon as he walked into the Susquehanna room and former friends turned away, Mike Horowitz said in a loud voice, "There goes the conscience of this university!" The two friends had lunch together. Others joined.

Fast forward a few years. Mike is no longer able to remember anything, carry on a conversation, or do anything except play rummy. No one comes to visit him. What would be the point? Rick comes, though, every week, for a couple of hours, and plays rummy with Mike.

P.S. Mary Jo is here, and says that her staying at Sandy and Harry's is fine.

P.P.S. I wish I could be there. My heart is there with you, Rose.

Love, Sylvia
July 20, 2011
Dear Rose,

The sad news about the sudden death of Richard has just reached us. Tine and I would like to express our feelings in the following sentence: Richard is dead. Long live our memories of this good man. We should add that we feel privileged to have had the opportunity (thanks to the NIAS in Wassenaar) to develop and cherish a special friendship with Richard and you. We had such good times together! 'Till death do us part', after so many years as a couple you have now to face up to this. We wish you all the strength you need to cope with the loss of Richard.

With love,
Tine and Leo
July 20, 2011
Charles Taylor:

Dear Rose,

I am very sad to hear of Rick's death. He was a remarkable man. I guess we first met many years ago in Ann Arbor when he was director of the archive. We got to know each other better in our times together in Berlin. He, Mary Frances and I spent one wonderful day looking at birds and buildings on the Elbe. In Berlin, he was a driver and I, a walker. Being very familiar with Berlin streets, I tended to navigate so we would frequently run into dead-ends bounded by pedestrian paths. One day we ended up in a church in Brandenburg admiring the arts. Somewhere in our conversation, I said to him that he had been a great loss to the church. He would have been greatly effective there. But then he was also effective in the classroom and did some good writing. We who knew him valued both his humor and his substance. And we admired his love and devotion to you. His was a life not lived in vain.

Thank you for letting me know. Mary Frances and I wish you the best in this difficult time.

July 21, 2011

Betty Jean Wilcox:

Rick and memories. I think the first, or almost the first, time I met Rick was at B&M's for March birthdays -- Stim was in New Zealand, I think -- and she had made her famous chicken pot pies. Rick and I were next to each other at the table and discovered a shared love of gravy that resulted in our happily taking possession of one of the two gravy boats for the rest of the dinner. We were quite pleased with ourselves and the results :-)

I'm sure there will be lots of wonderful stories at your memorial on Saturday -- and we'll be thinking of you all.

Someday I think you should come visit us here in Maine and we can eat lobsters and mussels and drink wine and play in clay if we feel like it. Know you are invited.

Much love and care being sent your way,
Betty Jean
July 21, 2011
Michael D. McDonald :

Hi Rose,

I’ve been thinking about you every day for the past two weeks, and most especially today. I wish I could be there with you, Mark, Sam, and all the others who are gathering to remember and honor Rick. Sadly, I’m scheduled to testify in the Nassau County voting rights case on Monday.

Thousands of us remember Rick for setting the entire discipline of political science on a new track forty five years ago and for connecting American and European political science in ways that have forged intellectual and organizational connections that will last forever. And all of us who spent time at Binghamton knew that this was Rick Hofferbert’s Department of Political Science—and still is. There could be no understating Rick’s daring efforts and all their wonderful results.

As for me personally, I’ll always remember Rick as a man who patiently helped to guide my life in so many fruitful directions. I arrived at Binghamton in the winter of 1986 and spent a lonely semester in the Department while you and Rick were in Berlin. By the fall semester, I had met the man with the big personality. My life in the Department was never lonely again. He yelled at me during our first get together and I laughed and agreed with him—not to be agreeable, Rick wouldn’t have liked that—but because he was right. We agreed and disagreed week in and week out for years to come. Our ability to disagree, talk it through, have my mind changed, and once in a while change Rick’s is what forged a strong bond that never had to be discussed by the two of us. We knew each other could be trusted to take the disagreements as a point in a conversation that would continue.

When it came to protecting me when I needed protection, there was Rick. He never said he was protecting me, and I seldom mentioned it. But I knew what was going on in decisions over my permanent hiring, my promotion, my tenure, my move to the DGS position. I once quoted Mark Twain in a public speech saying that “a friend is someone who sticks up for you when you’re wrong; anyone will stick up for you when you’re right.” Rick later said he liked that quote. It was Rick I was thinking about when I said that. I knew how many times he had done that for me.

Then came Wassenaar. It was no small effort to get me to NIAS, but Rick and Ian went through the gauntlet and made it happen. It was a life changing year for me, Alenna, and Zac. To be sure, all the changes were for the better. The three of us have forever seen the world in much bigger, broader, and richer terms.

Repayment for all Rick did for me was impossible. The great thing about Rick was that his repayment was knowing that what he did made my life better and more fulfilling. He took joy and pride from that. That is what I would like to shout to the world. Rick did things to change the world in big ways, and he did big and little things behind the scene to help people he cared about.

Alenna and I have been think and talking about the place of you and Rick in our lives all morning. These are joyful memories. They are there forever and ever..

Warmest Regards,
July 23, 2011

Tammy Kaufhold, Niece to Rick:

Thank you for inspiring me never to accept second best. In my educational and personal life choices, I always thought to myself, "Will this be easy to explain to Rick or a hassle?" Thankfully many of our conversations were the former, receiving only praise and strong encouragement to let no obstacle stand in my way.

July 24, 2011
Hi Rose,

The memorial service for Rick was so very touching.

We can't believe how you and your family were able to put everything together in so short a time. It was wonderful. Learning so much more about Rick, makes his loss in our lives so much greater. (I can imagine how you feel.) Eternal will be his memory. Harry and I would like to have you over sometime this coming weekend, Saturday or Sunday. I'll call you on Thurs. Hope you are available. Meanwhile, enjoy your beautiful family.

July 25, 2011
David Jones:

Dear Rose:

Maria and I have returned to Binghamton without incident. I hope you know how much we appreciate attending the celebration of Rick's life and spending time with his and your family, friends and former students.

I wanted to try to express some of my feelings about my great friend Rick. Although many other lives were touched by him over longer periods, I feel very fortunate to have shared a close relationship with him during the last decade. During our walks and breakfasts and lunches, I think I heard his jokes and stories almost as often as you did. I always tried to be prepared for our discussions about history, politics, sports, current affairs, etc, because he expected me to be able to hold my own. As you know, he did not exclude his friends from his refusal to listen to nonsense. Not many things made me more proud than when he would repeat a phrase I had used and, with that wicked grin, say "I'm going to use that, without attribution, of course."

When Maria and I were planning our wedding in New Mexico, we never considered asking anyone other than Rick to give her away in the ceremony. We are so grateful that you and he made the trip and shared some of our favorite places there, as you have done with us in Florida. Our wedding would not have been complete without the two of you there.

Rick was my friend, my mentor and my big brother, without the fraternal competition. The depth of his historical knowledge and his ability to synthesize ideas was unexcelled in my experience. As you know, he inspired and guided my writing of the history of my family as he had done, an activity which has brought me closer to my own relatives.

After we left your house on Sunday we went to the beach for a while, then to Sharkey's, to which you and Rick had introduced us several years ago. As we were leaving after dinner, as the afternoon rain shower was approaching, there was a beautiful rainbow over your house. We knew who that was.

David and Maria
July 27, 2011
Ron and Kathy Shea:


How sorry to hear of the passing of Rick. I have not been on my emails for awhile, so was surprised to read it. We sure appreciated your friendship the time that we spend in Binghamton. He was a wonderful man who loved life. You are in our prayers these days. Let us stay in touch.

Ron and Kathy Shea
July 31, 2011

Diane Lercher:

I had hoped that I might be able to write decently by now, but unfortunately my trigger thumb has become worse and writing for me is difficult and painful. But I wanted to let you know how sad I was to learn that Rick had died. I can't imagine how you must feel at this time. It must have been a terrible shock to you from which you no doubt continue to reverberate. He was a man who should have lived forever. He had such a love of life and joy in living. He will be greatly missed on this earth, especially by the scores of people that he touched in so many ways, from his decent way of arguing politics to his patiently playing cards for hours on end. Our condolences go out to you and your family.

with love,
Diane (and Bruce)
August 1, 2011
Raymond H. Mahoy:

Dear Mrs Hofferbert,

I am so terribly sorry to learn this news. You and the family have my deepest sympathy.

Raymond H. Mahoy & family
August 10, 2011
Dolores Kostura:

Hi Rose,

This is Dolores. Vicki's friend from Pa.

I just wanted to send you my condolences in regards to your husband. I was saddend by the news. I hope you are doing ok. I want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm sure you feel some comfort being near Vicki during this time. How is the rest of the family doing? If I remember you have grand children. How old are they now?

Love to hear from you.

August 15, 2011
Nick Sterling:

Dear Rose,

I think Rick's passing will really hit me when we come to Florida this fall. Rick was one of my "good buddies." I had a tremendous respect for him as a person and as an intellectual. I will greatly miss the discussions I had with him. Even though we often disagreed, it was a great experience to argue with him. I learned a lot from him and perhaps he learned from me. I loved him and I think of him almost each day for one thing or another. I know that you know how much he meant to me but I needed to tell you once again how much I cared for him.

As I said to you when you called me that dreadful night ,"You are in my thoughts and my heart." Have a wonderful trip to Hawaii. I'm so happy for Mark and his fiance. Much love to you,

August 15, 2011
Tine and Leo:

Dear Rose,

Thank you for sending us the message about Rick's untimely death. Leo already sent a message.

What a shock this must have been for you, so sudden. The good part is that he hasn't suffered, but what a great loss and emptiness you must feel. Your message came as a shock for us also. It's quite some time ago that we've last seen each other, but the memories of our get togethers are vivid. Wassenaar, Leiden, and our two visits to Vestal, all bring back great memories. Richard was a really nice person, full of humor, attentive, charming. We had such good times together. I see images of nice dinners in your house in Wassenaar, in our house in Leiden, in your dining room and your kitchen in Vestal, on that beautiful spot near Watkins Glen ..... Always nice conversations, good laughs, great atmosphere.

I remember a conversation we once had, sitting in your trailer that was standing in a corner of the garden. Richard was talking about divorce and how difficult new relationships could be afterwords. "It's so important that couples share a history". These words have made an impression on me, because they come back in my mind from time to time. How right he was. You've shared a long history with Rick and now you have to live without him. It won't be easy. But you have a lot of wonderful memories of your long life together.

It was great to read the "In Memoriam" site and the impression that Rick made on so many people. I especially loved to look at all the pictures from different periods. They are such live images of this kind and happy person. I hope you did have a good and warm memorial ceremony with close friends and family.

It was good to hear that you moved into a lovely home and settled 'for good' in Florida. The home will be empty without Rick, but we hope that you will settle there alone and feel at home.

Dear Rose, we may be far away, but we think of you and will never forget your dear Richard.

Our love to you,
Tine and Leo
August 22, 2011
Linda Bradley:

Wow, Rose, I am shaking ... I cannot believe it!! Count me in as another who is totally shocked that your beloved Rick died so suddenly.

Please let Sam know that I am thinking about him, too.

Big hugs!!

Sept. 5, 2011
David R. Cameron
Yale University:

Richard Ira Hofferbert died on July 6, 2011 at his home in Florida. He was 74. I first encountered Rick when I was an undergraduate at Williams College in the early 1960s. He had joined the Williams faculty as an assistant professor with a freshly-minted Ph.D. from Indiana. I took a class with him on American state and local politics and another on public opinion and political behavior and experienced what all of the students who took classes with him throughout his career discovered - a teacher who, through his enthusiasm for the subject matter, wit, force of personality and intelligence, made the comparative study of public policy, whether across the American states or among national governments, exciting.

Continue reading....
Christopher J. Anderson
Cornell University

Ian Budge
University of Essex

Ronald F. Inglehart
University of Michigan

Hans-Dieter Klingemann
Freie Universität of Berlin.

Michael D. McDonald
Binghamton University, SUNY

As with David Cameron, Rick Hofferbert entered our lives and changed their trajectories in ways that have proved rewarding through today and, we suspect, so long as we will inherit this good earth.

Rick's life began on April 2, 1937, in the rural environs of Grant County, Indiana. By age 20 he had the good fortune and great wisdom to marry his high school and lifelong sweetheart, Rosemarie Besemer Hofferbert-Rose to all who knew the two of them. At age 22 Rick graduated from Indiana University with an A.B. in political science, and he and Rose were rearing their first son, Mark. Just three years later, and one year before the birth of their second son, Sam, Rick earned his Ph.D. from Indiana under the supervision of American democratic theorist and past APSA president, Charles Hyneman. That same year, 1962, age 25, Rick took a position at Williams College.

Continue reading....
Joe and Roena Milan:

I was just reading the IU alumni magazine today and in the obituary column there appeared the name of Richard Hofferbert who passed away in Venice in July. Is this your Richard? Please let me know.



I was afraid that this was the case. I am certainly so sorry for your loss. I had received your e-mail about your permanent move to Venice how you had planned for a long and happy retirement in the sunny south. I read all of the memorials. What a wonderful life you and Rick had. His accomplishments were certainly remarkable. How many wonderful friends and memories you have. Aren't you so fortunate to have such a wonderful family. After all, this is what life is all about. Be firm in your faith. Roena and I both send our condolences and sympathy.

Joe and Roena Milan
November 30, 2011
Ellie and Dan Albert:

Dear Rose,

We were so sorry to hear that Rick had suddenly passed away. It must have been shocking, considering how well he seemed. I'm glad we were able to get to know him when we were in Venice- he was always so friendly and such lively company. I have always admired how you got through some tough times in the past, and now you have another setback to get through. I'm sure you're handling it very well.

Hope things are going well, I look forward to seeing you,
Ellie and Dan Albert
Jan. 27, 2012
A letter boxing site has been set up in Rick's memory in Salt Springs State Park, Pennslyvania.

Rick at Salt Springs

July 3, 2012
Mary and Nat Dean:

I just found your email in my FAU mailbox and was so sorry to learn that Rick is no longer with us. He was important to me and will be remembered with great affection. We just finished watching Gone with the Wind on TCM, about the umpteenth time we’ve seen it. What a classic, with wonderful people who were, as they say, bigger than life and twice as funny. Rick was like that, and it was our pleasure to know him.

Mary and Nat Dean
July 3, 2012

                                                                                                Rest in peace, my friend.