Cover photo for Reverend Robert J. Hoeffner's Obituary
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1947 Reverend Robert J. Hoeffner 2024

Reverend Robert J. Hoeffner

August 20, 1947 — January 28, 2024

Palm Bay, Florida

 Reverend Robert J. Hoeffner

 Reverend Robert (Bob) Hoeffner (76) of Palm Bay passed away on January 28, 2024. Father Bob lived his entire life serving God through his vocation as a priest and ministering to others.  As a Catholic priest, he positively affected the physical and spiritual lives of many people of all walks of life, not only living in Central and South Florida but also across the nation.  Father Bob guided many to a better life by walking with them into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.  Whether it was through the energy Father Bob infused into his homilies, the Sacraments he celebrated and shared, or the calm counsel of his caring voice, many were blessed to encounter Christ and receive the love of God through him.  

 Father Bob was born in Queens, NY and lived in Cohocton, NY and Ft. Pierce, FL.  The family had two farms and traveled to Cohocton in the summer to help with the farm there. He went to St. Anastasia Catholic grade school. At age 14, Bob attended St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami and chose a life in the priesthood upon completion of his studies at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach.

 He served as a Catholic priest for over 50 years. His first assignment was Good Shepherd Parish in Orlando, followed by a teaching assignment at Bishop Moore Catholic High School. He subsequently served as Director of the San Pedro Spiritual Development Center and Diocesan Director of Liturgy and Ecumenism. During that time, he also celebrated mass on television and became known as the “television priest.”  For 28 years, his masses were enjoyed on television channels throughout five dioceses in Florida.  

In 1987, Father Bob was given a pasture in an area of southeast Orlando and instructed by the Bishop to establish a new parish, St. Isaac Jogues.  Father Bob was bi-lingual and used those skills to build a thriving multicultural parish serving the needs of a very diverse community. He established the first trilingual parish council that equally represented the Anglo, Hispanic and Filipino communities and began a chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society to serve the needs of the poor. 

 In 1999 he was transferred to St. Joseph’s Parish in Palm Bay.  At St. Joseph’s, he continued his special knack of helping ordinary people achieve the extraordinary by being a servant to his parishioners and their children. Through the guidance and education he provided at St. Joseph Catholic School, and the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP),  a program for youth and adults, he was able to connect with many in the community of Palm Bay who wanted to learn and grow in their Catholic faith. He was well known for leading these congregations in song, and occasionally playing the guitar.  His culinary delights were well known every year at the Fall Festival when everyone enjoyed his clam chowder.

 Outside of the church, Father Bob enjoyed fishing, golf, traveling, reading, cooking, and sharing the company of friends and family. 

 Father Bob considered himself truly blessed to serve others.  He enjoyed being a shepherd to his flock, and God will no doubt greet him with the words “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

 Father Bob was accompanied in his death by his sister, Sally Hoeffner.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Margaret Hoeffner, and by his sister, Patricia Hoeffner.  He is survived by his siblings Thomas Hoeffner, (Barbara), William Hoeffner, Susan Trundle, (Terry), Gerry “Max” Hoeffner, (Mendi), Lisa Hoeffner. Nieces and nephews, Kevin Hoeffner, (Debbie), Jennie Capezza, (Louis), Sam Hoeffner, Molly Hoeffner, Amy McDonald,(Ken), Tiffany Siler,( Allen), Justin Crossett,(   Malle), Casey Gaines,(Andy), Maggie Summers,( Spencer), Neil Hoeffner,( Ngoc), Vince Hoeffner, and Mac Hoeffner.                                                                                                                                                                                       

 Prayer Service and visitation for Reverend Robert Hoeffner and Sally Hoeffner will be Monday, February 19th at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Palm Bay, FL. Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service beginning at 6:00 p.m. A funeral mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend John Gerard Noonan on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist, 5655 Stadium Pkwy, Viera, FL 32940. 

 Livestreaming is available for both services through St. Joseph Catholic Church and St. John the Evangelist websites. Arrangements are under the direction of Haisley Funeral Home, Fort Pierce. An online guest book may be signed at www.haisleyfuneralhome.com  

    

 

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