Zev Hoffman, 87, of Haddon Heights, a certified public accountant and World War II veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart, died of cancer Sunday at home.
Raised in Oak Lane, Mr. Hoffman graduated from Northeast High School in 1939. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1943 from the University of Pennsylvania and worked as a chemist at Abbott Laboratories for a few months before enlisting in the Army.
Mr. Hoffman repaired machine guns and armor in Europe during World War II. He also saw combat, and received his Purple Heart after a wall fell on him during a fierce battle in 1944 in the Huertgen Forest in Germany.
Mr. Hoffman was discharged in 1949 and married Ruth Shapiro. He became a certified public accountant and worked with his father in Philadelphia before starting a business in Haddonfield, where he worked until shortly before his death.
"My grandparents essentially raised me," granddaughter Jennifer Hoffman said. "He taught me the values of selflessness and compassion. He paid for my college and guided me in life."
"Zev's children and grandchildren were his hobbies," his wife said. "He told them war stories instead of bedtime stories."
Mr. Hoffman wore a lot of hats - a baseball cap and fur, derby or standard dress hats.
He and his wife were always on the go. They traveled widely in Europe and the States.
In addition to his wife and granddaughter, Mr. Hoffman is survived by sons Michael and Benjamin; daughters Abigail and Rachel; two sisters; and four other grandchildren.
Friends may visit after 9:30 a.m. today at Congregation Mikveh Israel, 44 N. Fourth St., where a funeral will follow at 10. Burial will be in Har Zion Cemetery, Collingdale.
Memorial donations may be made to Congregation Mikveh Israel, 44 N. Fourth St., Philadelphia 19106.