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Dr. Frank Hoffman, 98, died of natural causes at home on April 21.

Born in Savannah on February 23, 1922 to Rose Garfinkel Hoffman and Hymie Hoffman, Dr. Hoffman is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Thelma Milgrom Hoffman, sister Gert Hackman, daughter Barbara Hoffman and her husband Paul Shapiro, son Fred Hoffman, granddaughters Emily Shapiro and Sarah Shapiro, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, Chaim (Hymie) Hoffman and Rose Garfinkel Hoffman, sister Minnie Charnovitz, and brother Philip Hoffman.

After graduating from Savannah High School in 1939, Dr. Hoffman was accepted into a rigorous accelerated undergraduate and medical training program at the University of Georgia. He graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in 1945 and completed his internship on Staten Island as an Army Captain treating returning veterans. During that time, he took a brief vacation to the Catskills, where he and Thelma first met and fell in love. In 1949, they married in Brooklyn after Dr. Hoffman finished his graduate medical education at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his residency at New York-Presbyterian, Cornell University Hospital in New York City, Dr. Hoffman returned to Savannah to open his first office on Bull Street.

Over fifty years in his offices in Medical Arts and Georgia Ear Institute, Dr. Hoffman provided ear, nose, and throat care to generations of Savannahians. He performed ear, nose, and throat surgery, including facial plastic surgery, to help restore the hearing, breathing, and appearance of his patients. Throughout his career, he traveled the United States to learn from the finest physicians and then shared those advanced skills to train other physicians.

With his professionalism and kindness, Dr. Hoffman led the Savannah medical community. He was one of the first local physicians to integrate his office, prohibit smoking, and provide retirement plans for his staff.

For decades, Dr. Hoffman was a member of the Workmen’s Circle Credit Union Board of Directors, where he chaired the Loan Committee. He was a member of Congregation Mickve Israel and the Jewish Educational Alliance. A life-long traveler, Dr. Hoffman most enjoyed taking long cruises with Thelma to see the world and enjoy the quiet of the open seas. Always interested in business and political news, he routinely followed the stock market with great skill. He will be deeply missed as the beloved patriarch of the family who adored him.

With concern for the safety and health of our family and friends, a memorial service will be held at a later date.

A small family funeral service was held at 11 o’clock Thursday morning, April 23, 2020, at the graveside, Bonaventure Cemetery, conducted by Rabbi Robert W. Haas.

Contributions are welcomed in Dr. Hoffman’s memory to the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, 8455 Colesville Road, Suite 930, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or to the charity of your choice.

Online Condolences

  1. Doris greenberg says:

    We are so sorry for your loss of a spritely man who loved his work , his travel, and his family. He was a great man with his peers, a dedicated hard-working physician, and he was a passionate traveler. He and his sweet wife were always willing to be helpful and kind. We are so sorry to lose such an outstanding person.

  2. Miriam Center says:

    It’s hard to realize that an end to an era is here. I have known Frank for over ninety years. He was always so kind, pleasant, and a dry sense of humor. From the beginning when we lived around the corner from the Hoffmans, it was always said “Frank is brilliant.” And so he was. I send you my loving heart.

  3. Miriam Center says:

    Thelma, I have known Frank for over 90 years and it is a known fact how brilliant he was. He was always the studious one, and I loved his dry sense of humor. I send you my loving heart

  4. Robin Clark says:

    Having known Frank for a short time as one of his neighbors, I’ve always been so impressed with both he and Thelma’s amazing energy. His life has been one most of us would choose to have. Living life to its fullest and enjoying it with his beloved, Thelma. A tragic loss for his family and friends. Thelma, Larry and I have you in our hearts and prayers. If you need anything, please reach out.

    Robin & Larry.

  5. Chris Wise says:

    Dr. Hoffman took both of my sons’ tonsils out. My youngest was three. Dr. Hoffman came in to see him afterwards and, I guess my son was mad at him because his throat hurt, so he kicked the doctor in his shin. Of course I was mortified, but Dr Hoffman just laughed it off. I’m very sorry for your loss!

  6. Elizabeth Scott says:

    Dr. Frank changed my life forever. I started out as his patient as a child when an accident left me with a deformed nose. His 3rd and final surgery on me was quite a transformation and I’ll never forget him standing by my bedside asking if I felt any pain because I woke up during surgery! He was a brilliant man who gave transforming outcomes to many children like me. I loved him dearly. I know the gates of heaven are open for a job well done. I’m sorry for your loss. I hope these memories of a life well lived brings you comfort.

  7. Jessica Neeley says:

    Sending my love Thelma and family. Dr. Hoffman was an incredible man and will be missed greatly!

  8. Ed & Nancy Crossin says:

    Nancy and I offer you and your family our sincerest sympathy. You and Frank have been wonderful neighbors and friends for the last five
    years. We will miss his kindness, warmth and friendship.
    God Bless!

    Ed and Nancy Crossin

  9. Michele Chodnicki says:

    My deepest sympathies go out to Hoffman family. Dr. Hoffman was an amazing man and a great doctor. He was always my go to doctor and always made things better. He will be greatly missed. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. God bless!

  10. Ann Sosbe says:

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss. I was a patient of Dr Hoffman and Betty for several years. He always took such good care of me. I’m a Savannah Police Officer, and he never liked that, he would always ask me if I was going to get a real job. That always made me laugh, and it was his way of letting me know he cared. I have often thought of him since he retired as am sad to hear of his passing. My thoughts are with you at this time.

  11. Diane Lightsey says:

    Mrs. Hoffman and family,
    I am so very sorry for the loss of this wonderful man who meant so much to so many. It didn’t take me long to realize, after I went to work for him at Medical Arts, that if you were one of his – his family, his friends, his patients, his employees, he would take care of you, because that’s what he did. He took care of his people.

    I will never forget him, the honorable, kind, loyal man and brilliant physician that he was.

    Prayers for comfort for you, sweet, kind Mrs. Hoffman.

  12. Kathy Moore says:

    Mrs. Hoffman, Barbara, Fred, & family,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I was one of “his” when I worked for him at the Medical Arts office & in the bank building. I could never thank him enough for taking care of me when I was expecting & put on bed rest. He never once even gave the appearance of anything but concern for me in the months that I was unable to work, making sure only that I was taken care of. He was indeed a good man. I’m truly sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you all.

  13. Carolyn Emerick says:

    Sincere sympathy to Dr.Hoffmans family on your loss

  14. Ben Delancy says:


    I am so sorry to hear about Frank’s death. To this day, I still have wonderful memories of traveling through France with my parents and the two of you. Thanks to both of you for the kindness and friendship you showed our family for many years in Savannah.

  15. Joe Fitzpatrick says:

    I was a waiter at 45 South for many years. Dr. Hoffman was one of the most gracious regular guests I ever had the luck to serve. I send my sincere wishes of condolences to the family.

  16. Sharon & Murray Galin says:

    We thought the world of Frank. He was a good friend and a very caring doctor. He took care of our family, which included 4 children, for many years until his retirement. He and Thelma sailed the world and now he’s on his own private ship to Heaven.
    He will be sorely missed.

  17. Anita Cannon says:

    Dr Frank Hoffman was one of the first surgeon’s I worked with at Candler Central Hospital on Bull and Washington Ave. I had graduated Friday night 5/31/1968 from Armstrong State College and started as a new Graduate 6/3/68. We were EENT specialties. I often worked with Dr Hoffman doing tonsils, adenoids, myringotomies then take a pause, and set-up for nasal surgery. Fair, generous, talented, caring. Would always order a dozen boiled eggs for breakfast and would eat only the whites! Apparently a good choice! I saw Dr Hoffman the last time at a restaurant on Habersham Street. He was unchanged. RIP dear friend.

  18. Stephanie Moore Jackson says:

    Dear Mrs Hoffman, Barbara, Fred and family ,
    I just today learned of Dr Hoffman’s passing ! My heart Is just so broken! I am so very sorry for your loss ! I went to work for Dr Hoffman when I was just 17 years old …my very first job ..and worked for him for many many years ! He was truly like a father to me !
    I always loved him so very much and I loved my job working for him with Mary and Betty and Carrie and Myrtle ..more than any other job I have ever had in my life !! He was so good to all of his employees and spoiled us all so much with his goodness and kindness !!! I loved going to work everyday!!
    He made me laugh so much and his smile would light up the room ! I remember his 50 th birthday like it was yesterday when we decorated his office and got him a cake with Hershey kisses on the top of it bc he loved them !! He was a wonderful man and the absolute best ENT physician and surgeon I knew !!! He will be so missed and he will forever be in my heart ! Love to you sweet Dr Hoffman Always and all my Love to you all

  19. Susan Schneider McTeer says:

    Dear Mrs. Hoffman, Barbara, and Fred.
    I just found out about Dr. Hoffman. I was so sorry to hear about your loss. He was a dedicated physician and loved by all.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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