York Township woman, 102, a devoted Phillies fan for 70 years
YORK — Now 102 years old, Catherine Hoffman lives alone in a room at Springwood Overlook in York Township. Her husband, Samuel Hoffman, died 30 years ago. Her daughter Leeanna died 12 years ago.
“When you get older, it's difficult,” she said. “I lost all my good friends. They're all gone. In here, if you make friends they're gone before too long.”
One constant, however, has been her team, her boys — the Philadelphia Phillies.
She sits in a recliner most nights, wearing earrings and with her white hair set perfectly, cheering a team she has followed for about 70 years.
On the arm rest of her loveseat, she has placed a plush Phillie Phanatic.
The link to her team has always been through television. Her husband worked in a shop that sold television sets, and the two of them followed the Phillies since “whenever we could watch them on TV.”
A picture from a Phillies calendar of her favorite player, Ryan Howard, rests next to Hoffman's recliner.
She holds up the picture and points at his face: “There's just something about the way he bats. ... He's my man.”
Hoffman attended school through the eighth grade, dropping out at age 14 — same as almost every girl she knew in the York City School District.
“Girls just didn't graduate then. You were done (at 14),” Hoffman said.
She lived through the Great Depression in York, and shakes her head at the memory of it.
“Oh God, you never forget any of it,” she said. “You just didn't have enough of anything.”
She remembers pushing a wagon with her brother through the city to a place where families could receive free fruit. She remembers living at a place on Allison Street, where her family paid $10 a month for rent. They moved to a house on Clark Avenue, opting to pay $11 a month in rent because it included a bathroom.
“No one had a bathroom — except rich people,” Hoffman said.
Although she's lost many friends, Hoffman remains friends with Ginny Freed.
Together, they worked in the York Suburban School District for many years. Hoffman spent 26 years working as the school cafeteria baker.
Freed, 94, made all the soup.
Before that, Hoffman worked at T.E. Brooks cigar factory at the corner of Poplar and Dewey streets for 25 years. She ran a machine that rolled cigars.
Nowadays, she plays bingo on Monday nights. She struggles sometimes to come up with names, even though it seems locked in her head.
“See, that's what happens when you're 102,” she said, laughing.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police run down tips about trooper ambush suspect
- Manchin, Toomey to seek greater flexibility for veterans’ career counselors
- Police: Suspect Frein in Pa. trooper ambush ‘extremely dangerous’
- Comcast cuts showings of anti-pigeon shooting commercial featuring Barker
- Retiring circuit judge, a Carnegie native, ‘helped tutor generations’
- Pennsylvania medical marijuana supporters hold Capitol rally
- ‘Racy’ emails could stay hidden under Pennsylvania open records law
- Police: Barracks ambush suspect sought mass murder
- Police: Drunk prowler stole only Altoona couple’s candy
- Pa.’s pigeon shoots inspire animal-rights group’s campaign
- Unusually cold winter, spring reduces population of Western Pa. stink bugs