Sonny Hoffman to Serve as Grand Marshal at Fryburg Mayfest Parade
Photo by Jason “Jake” Hoffman.
Those with floats in Saturday afternoon’s parade are busy getting them ready. Participants are reminded that they may not have any alcohol on the floats.
The parade’s Grand Marshal is Sonny Hoffman, one of the area’s most recognizable citizens.
Sonny is a lifelong Washington Township resident; he has served his community and country all his life.
Born in Marble in 1938, Sonny graduated from North Clarion High School in 1957 before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps, serving in RECON until 1959.
Upon his honorable discharge, Sonny worked for various trucking companies in the area, including Motter & Guth and Amsler Coal Company.
Sonny joined the Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department in 1963, and since then, he has held various command and business office positions within the department including captain, secretary, president, and department fire chief, a position that he held on two different occasions for multiple years.
Sonny was instrumental in enacting regular training sessions within the department, getting the members to attend state-sanctioned fire schools, working to build relationships with multiple agencies across varying disciplines, and mentoring many firefighters as they began with the department.
Sonny was one of the key personnel responsible for the move from the small station located on Old Fryburg Road to the department’s modern six-bay, 6,100-square foot station located along Route 208 between Fryburg and Strobleton.
Now holding lifetime membership status with the department, Sonny continues to serve on the board of directors and truck committee.
He was recently recognized by the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for being the Washington Township Forest Fire Warden for 50 years, beginning in 1967.
At 78 years young, he can still be found regularly serving the community on fire scenes, at the fire station on training nights, and at department fundraisers.
In 1995, Sonny started Sandy Ridge Contracting, specializing in remodeling and building additions, continuing until 2003. At that time, he chose to become semi-retired and began working for DCNR as a fire patrolman until officially retiring in 2014.
Sonny lives on Sandy Road in Marble with his wife, Verna, and dog, Toby.
He has three children, Rhonda Massa of Corsica; Shelly Titang of Boston, Massachusetts; and Jason Hoffman of Venus, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
For more information on Mayfest, visit fryburgmayfest.com.
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