ONEONTA — Eduard Hofbauer, 75, of Oneonta, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at Bassett Healthcare Hospital, Cooperstown.
Edi was born on Aug. 28, 1937, in Munich, Germany, the son of the late Anna Hofbauer. One of Edi’s dreams was to become a U.S. citizen so as a teenager his uncle sponsored him to come to the United States. He spoke little English and only had a trade school education. For his short period of time living in New York City, he played water polo for the New York Athletic Club.
He obtained his U.S. citizenship after he served in the U.S. Army at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii, 1959 to 1963. Oahu is where he met his beloved wife, Ingrid, whom he married in East Orange, N.J. in 1964.
While in East Orange, Edi learned the ski equipment business in a ski shop with friend, Warner Seher and became the first Puma representative in the U.S. His dream of owning his own ski shop came true when a good friend, Herb Trappenburg, of Stamford, helped him plan the opening of the Alpine Ski Hut in Oneonta, where he settled and raised his family.
Edi and Ingrid ran their family owned business, the Alpine Ski Hut for 45 years. He eventually expanded the business into a sporting goods store and loved to sell skis, bikes, and other athletic equipment. He prided himself on the service he gave his customers.
He loved work but it was not really “work” to him but rather his passion. Eventually he became a craftsman at his trophy and engraving business which he loved and had a special talent for.
Edi was a generous and caring man with a big heart who touched many lives in many ways. His laugh and smile will resonate in everyone’s hearts forever. He loved Oneonta and enjoyed life to its fullest.