Erna L. (Niessner) Hofer


Mrs. Erna L. Hofer of Lodi passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 11, 2008. Erna was born July 19, 1920, in Turtle Lake, North Dakota to Theodore and Rosalie Niessner. She graduated from Lodi Union High School in 1939. In 1940, Erna married her childhood sweetheart Walter Hofer. They settled near Placerville, CA where Walter worked as a machinist. Soon afterward, they moved to Lodi and started their family. In 1965, Erna received her Licensed Vocational Nurse degree and worked as an LVN for 13 years at Lodi Memorial Hospital. After retirement, Walter and Erna traveled extensively. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were the delight of her life, and they looked forward to fun with grandma. Walter and Erna devoted much of their time and energy tending their small farm south of Lodi. Walter passed away in June, 2007, after nearly 67 years of marriage.

Erna possessed a deep faith in Christ and was a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Lodi. She enjoyed reading, gardening, camping, fishing, farming, and spending time with family and friends. She was a sweet, godly woman and will be best remembered as a loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and a committed friend and neighbor. She will be dearly missed.

Erna is survived by a son Wayne Hofer and wife Caron of Martinez, CA; a daughter, Lynette Channell and husband David of Lincoln, CA; 4 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren; and her brothers Robert and Edwin Niessner. Along with her husband, two sisters, Elsie Kiesz and Irene Fueller, and a son in-law, Thomas Walters, preceded her in death.

The graveside service will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19 at the Cherokee Memorial Park Cemetery in Lodi and immediately followed by a memorial service at First Baptist Church in Lodi at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be from noon until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday at the Lodi Funeral Home.

WWII – Berthold Oscar Hofer

Berthold Oscar Hofer

” Missing in action as of 30 November 1942 – attached to the USS NORTHAMPTON when that ship participated in the Fifth Battle of Savo Island.  Declared dead as of 1 December 1943, body not recovered.”

Fire Controlman, Third Class, U.S. Navy

Service # 6384957

United States Naval Reserve

Entered the Service from: North Dakota
Died: 1-Dec-43
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery
Manila, Philippines

Awards: Purple Heart

Served on the cruiser Northampton (CA-26)

Read about it:

Wikipedia,  here, and here.


Email from a genealogist looking for lost soldiers for the military:

“Here is the response from my supervisor at Navy:

Sorry this case will probably not be worked on as it is a deep water case.  Here is the synopsis from the death record card: ” Missing in action as of 30 November 1942 – attached to the USS NORTHAMPTON when that ship participated in the Fifth Battle of Savo Island.  Declared dead as of 1 December 1943, body not recovered.

If he would like to Google USS NORTHAMPTON CA26 the story is there for reading.  Vicious battle but the ship was lost and unfortunately in deep water.  This ship has an interesting sidebar as it was used by Herman Wouk in his story about world war II in the 24 hour miniseries.  Good reading, however this individual is not on a current listing for recovery or research at this time.

best regards,