A longtime employee of Indiana Wesleyan University and member of College Wesleyan Church suffered an untimely death last evening when one wall of a more than six-foot deep trench collapsed outside his home on a county road near the airport in Marion, Indiana.
Emergency crews got the call shortly after 7:00pm and arrived to find Ross Hoffman, 55, buried up to his chest and a friend, Jason Ewer, also trapped, but only buried up to his waist. Ross was unresponsive when the crews dug them both out and it was later reported that he died from asphyxiation.
Jason Ewer, an off-duty Grant County sheriff’s deputy, was checked out and released. Emergency personnel reported that Jason had attempted to help Ross, trying to create an airway for his friend before emergency crews arrived.
According to IWU President Dr. David Wright, Ross worked for 14 years with Terry Munday in IWU’s Development Office. His wife, Dr. Karen Hoffman, has been a faculty member and administrator there for the past 20 years and recently accepted a position as Associate Dean in the School of Nursing.
Their daughter Jolie (husband Steve Leonard and baby Alice), in Seattle, Washington, and son, Logan (wife Emilie), a church-planter in New Zealand, are both IWU alumni, ’05 and ’09, respectively .
President Wright states, “Even as we mourn the loss of a valued colleague and brother in Christ, we thank God for the blessing of Ross’s wonderful life of service to so many in our community.
Ross Hoffman’s loving, Christ-like character will be sadly missed far more widely than in Marion. His life and ministry have influenced thousands through the university, The Wesleyan Church denomination, World Hope International, and in Africa. General Superintendent Jo Anne Lyon’s chief of staff, Rev. David Drury, presents a more detailed account of his legacy here.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? . . . neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 35a,38-39 NIV)