Smiles we remember: Clara Hoffman

Remembering a life of service
January 12th, 2018

Clara HoffmanThe first female trustee to join the Baylor College of Dentistry board in 1975, Clara Hoffman could always recount in vivid detail the time she accepted a cigar, even if it was only to make a statement.

According to the college’s 2005 history book, “Baylor College of Dentistry: the First 100 Years,” Hoffman recalled the elaborate lunches served to trustees — and the cigars offered once they finished dining.

“I took one, but I didn’t smoke it,” Hoffman said. “It shook up Dean Randolph, and he stopped offering them.” The dental school soon eliminated the lunches altogether, which pleased Hoffman, an advocate for the college library. Her hope was that the luncheon funds would be applied to books instead, which they were.

Hoffman, 96, passed away Jan. 4.

“She was a woman of boundless energy, vitality and good counsel,” said Robert Bigham Jr., president and treasurer of the Baylor Oral Health Foundation, in announcing her passing to the Texas A&M College of Dentistry community.

Hoffman served as a charter BOHF director from 1993 until 2002, during which time she completed terms as vice chair and secretary, and went on to serve as an advisory member until 2011. A one-time director of nursing at Parkland Hospital and longtime civic volunteer, she helped found the Good Shepherd Episcopal School, which named its middle school in her honor.

Hoffman also served 10 years on the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners and was inducted into the dental school’s Hall of Fame in 2000.

A memorial service at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Dallas at 11 a.m. on Jan. 15 will celebrate her life and contributions.

— Carolyn Cox