Gregory William Hoffer, 24, of Kennebunkport, Maine and Maplewood, New Jersey, succumbed to a nearly lifelong battle with mental illness on May 15, 2022, despite his being a light and inspiration to so many.
Born in Livingston, New Jersey, on Dec. 10, 1997, and raised in Maplewood, Greg graduated from Columbia High School, earned his bachelor of science in environmental science at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and his master of sciences in marine biological resources – IMBRSea through Ghent University, Belgium.
Greg was the beloved son of Eric and Lauren (Smith) Hoffer of Kennebunkport; brother to Jennifer Hoffer of Portland; boyfriend to Elizabeth Poulin of Scarborough; grandson of Robert and Elizabeth Smith and Stuart and Sally (predeceased, Dec. 3, 2021) Hoffer; nephew, cousin, friend and colleague to many more. He leaves his beloved dog Cassie and not-so-favorite Echo.
Greg was full of light and love. He was a beautiful soul, who always did what was right. He was kind, engaging, hard working and he loved deeply and sincerely. Of generous heart and spirit, he also possessed a playful sense of humor. His strongest instinct was compassion; he could read people quickly, and easily connected with children of all ages, making them feel seen and heard.
An incredible son, loving brother and boyfriend, Greg was a true friend and confidant to many. He had a unique compassion for living creatures, and his deep connection to nature led him to graduate-study in marine biology — Greg wrote a master’s thesis about carbon sequestration by Rockweed seaweed (ascophyllum nodosum), which he was set to defend in July 2022. His family is immensely and forever proud of him and all that he accomplished.
Greg fought his battle with mental illness with courage and strength; he lived as healthfully as possible, and constantly worked to find solutions. While his family continues to grapple with questions about the causes of his suffering, they move forward with renewed commitment to what Greg wanted: supporting research about, destigmatizing, raising awareness of, and building community around understanding depression, neurodiversity and suicidality.
Whether it was hiking, surfing, running, skiing, or nurturing something he had planted, Gregory embraced the outdoors. Likewise, he would want everyone to take time in nature, to listen to and appreciate the tranquility and wildness around us.
Greg was loved infinitely and will be forever missed by his family and the vast network of people whose lives he touched and transformed in ways big and small. Friends are encouraged to share positive memories and stories of how your view of the world might be different as a result of having rubbed shoulders with Greg. Just add #greghofferlove to your post on Instagram or Facebook, and make it visible to all – so that anyone who searches the tag can see the ripples of Greg’s influence as they continue to spread.
Greg’s memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 1 p.m., at St. Ann’s by-the-Sea, at 167 Ocean Ave. in Kennebunkport. There will also be a gathering in Maplewood, New Jersey, this fall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Greg’s memory to: National Alliance on Mental Illness, P.O. Box 49104 Baltimore, MD 21297, or online at https://donate.nami.org/greghofferlove; to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), 199 Water St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038, or online at https://supporting.afsp.org/campaign/GregHofferLove; or to the PANDAS Network, 655 Oak Grove Ave., No. 1373, Menlo Park, CA 94026, or online at https://pandasnetwork.org/about/.
To share a memory and leave a message of condolence, please visit Greg’s Book of Memories page at www.bibberfuneral.com.
This obituary was originally published in the Kennebunkport Post.