Paulette Josephine Hoffman

Date of Birth

December 17, 1940

Date of Death

November 12, 2021

Long-time Santa Barbara resident Paulette Josephine Hoffman, 80, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at Serenity House on November 12, 2021.

Paulette was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 17, 1940, the second child of Aloysius and Josephine Tragarz. Just before starting second grade, her family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she enrolled in St. Thomas School before changing to Immaculate Conception, which she attended through high school, graduating in 1958. At the age of ten, she first saw her future husband, Wayne Hoffman, at a company picnic, and later, they met at a dancing school. They started dating when they were both in high school.

After high school graduation, Paulette enrolled at Sienna College in Memphis, but before long Wayne and Paulette were engaged, and then married on October 1, 1960. After a series of moves that took the couple to Chicago, Anaheim, Virginia Beach, and Milwaukee, the young couple landed in Santa Barbara in 1967, already with a son, Andrew; a daughter, Kathleen (Kay); and a second daughter, Eileen, on the way.

Once in Santa Barbara, the family stayed. Paulette became active in her church, the Old Mission. Over the many years, Paulette worked as a lector, a docent, and served as president of the church council. She was part of a group of thirty-three people who were invited to a party for Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Santa Barbara in 1983, and she had an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1987 in Los Angeles. Of special importance to Paulette was Father Virgil Cordano, who was her mentor in the church. Her other work included being on the founding board of the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center and assisting with the creation of Santa Barbara’s first Emergency Medical Technician program. Professionally, Paulette worked for years in various medical offices doing both front and back-office work.

Paulette traveled extensively in her life. With her husband and three young children, she traveled through Europe, spending most of her time in Spain, from 1972-1973. She went behind the Iron Curtain to visit Russia in 1975. Among her many other trips abroad were an adventurous trip to India in 1983, a visit to South America in 1997, and an extended stay in Rome in 2000-2001. She put her travel experience to work by conducting classes for travel groups on how to pack efficiently for long trips. She even had her own website that she started in the early days of the Internet.

Paulette had a ready smile and laugh. She made friends easily, no matter whether it was through her work, her church, her book club, volunteering at her children’s school, her weekly trip to the Farmer’s Market, or walking along Shoreline Park with her husband. She had a wonderful sense of humor and quick wit, attracting people to her with an easy-going nature and loving manner. Her life touched many.

She is survived by her husband Wayne; by her son Andrew and his wife Cathy, along with their sons Sean and Alex; and by her daughters Kay and Eileen. She is also survived by her siblings Joanne Sizek, Michael Tragarz, Robert Tragarz, Patricia Carroll, Rose Circello, and Dennis Tragarz, as well as numerous extended family members.

A funeral mass will be held at the Old Mission Santa Barbara on Thursday, December 2nd at 11:00am.


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