Sr. Patricia Hoffman (1931 – 2013)

Sr. Patricia (Raymond Francis) Hoffman, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 62 years, died in Oakland on September 30, 2013.

Sr. Patricia at Notre Dame Elementary School, Belmont.

Known for her gentle and fun-loving spirit, Sr. Patricia taught for nearly 40 years in Notre Dame elementary schools, including those in Carmel, Belmont, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Along the way she acquired a monkey puppet called Charlotte, who made learning fun and relevant for her students. After retiring from full-time ministry, she tutored at John Gill School, Redwood City, bringing joy to students struggling with a new language or with learning difficulties.  Sr. Patricia was active in the social justice work of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

As Bodelia the clown, Sr. Patricia joined the Carrousel of Clowns, a group of adults in Los Angeles, who brought “love to life” in places like retirement homes and Special Olympics.  She found that humor was a wonderful way to celebrate the joys of life and share faith with others. In the 1980s, an ecumenical church group invited her to participate as a clown in a delegation to Las Vueltas, San Francisco’s sister city in El Salvador. The delegation was there when the long-awaited Peace Accord was signed after 11 years of war.

Born to Eugene “Gene” and Gertrude Hoffman on November 25, 1931, Pat was loving sister of Sr. Margaret Hoffman, SND, of Belmont; Dr. Jim Hoffman (Jan) of Blue Bell, PA; Raymond Hoffman of Lansdale, PA; and beloved as “Aunt Pat” to Jim’s children, Karl, Jeremy, Kevin and Jill Hoffman.  She will be missed by many friends, other family, former students and her Sisters of Notre Dame.

A Mass celebrating Sr. Patricia’s life will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at noon at Notre Dame Province Center, 1520 Ralston Avenue, Belmont.  Private interment.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 1520 Ralston Avenue, Belmont, CA 94002 or online.


  1. Dear Monica,
    Oh how sad I was to read of Sr. Pat Hoffman's death and yet I sense that she is not one bit sad at all. From the time we first met, I knew she was one of Julie's favorite daughters because she remembered how to laugh out loud and let her funny side be visible. It is so easy to imagine her in the fist community who joined St. Julie because Pat always knew what it meant to work hard on behalf of people in need, and when the work was done, to be delighted to sit down and keep still…then smile in her prayer. May she love being among the stars…my sympathy to all of you. I wish I was down the street.
    Jon Julie

    1. Although I was unable to meet with Sr. Pat,
      she was so thoughtful to send along an
      article of what she did as a clown. It meant a
      lot to me since I have been working in comedy
      for 22 years as a

  2. Excellent teacher. My daughter is in the picture that is posted. She was so fortunate to have had her.. My sympathy and prayers to all of her family.

  3. Sister Raymond Francis was my favorite teacher at Saint Charles School in San Carlos. It was probably my best school year (second grade, 1962-1963) because I made my First Holy Communion that year and because we all liked Sister very much. She was a bit of a musician, an artistic person (both important to me), and a good story teller. I never remember her raising her voice–o.k., maybe once–(she did give me a swat on the backside because I kept coming up to the front of the room when I wasn't supposed to…you didn't leave your seat in those days!) I ran into her a few time later in life and I read about her clowning ministry. I am sure she is praying for us all down here!

  4. God blesses those who help us laugh.
    She inspired me and I still do comedy after 22 years…as Sister Geritola of the Rock of Ages Convent.

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