Three of four killed in Biloxi crash were from Austin area,
Locals recall Bastrop woman, Lockhart couple, Sealy man.
When Ken and Peggy Hoffman attended Lockhart home football games — and they made sure to attend all the games — they were decked out in Lockhart maroon.
“They probably had every piece of Lockhart garb we ever had,” said Lockhart school Superintendent Susan Bohn, who sat next to them in the bleachers. At cold and rainy football games, the pair came equipped with maroon parkas.
Ken Hoffman retired in 1996 as an assistant superintendent of the school district; Peggy Hoffman retired in 2002 as principal of Plum Creek Elementary. Between them, they had a combined 85 years of service to the school district, district spokeswoman Christina Courson said.
The couple died Tuesday when the bus in which they were passengers was struck by a freight train in Biloxi, Miss. Ken Hoffman was 82; Peggy Hoffman was 73.
Friends and families in Central Texas communities Wednesday mourned the Hoffmans and two other people killed in the crash, 62-year-old Deborah Orr of Bastrop and Clinton Havran, 79, of Sealy.
Of the Hoffmans, “Ken was the quieter of the two,” Bohn said. Bohn considered Peggy Hoffman an adviser, one who had insight into the burdens administra- tors and teachers face over such things as the launch of a new curriculum.
“She was a te a cher’s administrator,” Bohn said. “She knew how hard the job was of a teacher. And she wanted to make sure kids and teachers got what they needed to be effective.”
“What drew me to Peggy was how she expected excel- lence for our community, our staff, our kids and the district,” she said.
Even in their retirement, the couple remained involved in the district. Peggy Hoffman was a GED instructor in the district’s community education program and filled in for a series of administrative jobs.
And at least four of the Hoffmans’ children and gr a ndchildren also are involved in Lockhart schools.
A daughter is a teacher at the George W. Carver Early Education Center; a grand- daughter is counselor at the M.L. Cisneros freshman campus; another granddaugh- ter teaches at Plum Creek Elementary; and a grandson teaches at Lockhart Junior High School, coaches the softball team and is a robot- ics instructor.
“Their legacy is four individuals who continue to shape our kids,” Bohn said.
People who had attended Lockhart schools attested on social media to the Hoffmans’ influence.
“I am absolutely heartbroken over this tragedy,” Darla Williams wrote on Facebook. “Along with countless oth- ers my age I was blessed to have Peggy as a teacher when I was a young child.”
“So many people have been touched or helped by these two beautiful people over the years,” wrote Ricke Scott. “I doubt that there isn’t a family in Lockhart that hasn’t been helped by these two.”
Deborah Orr, who also went by Debbie, was also civic-minded, serving on the board of the Bastrop Senior Center; Orr was one of the activity coordinators and helped organize the Biloxi bus excursion.
Orr was stepping out of the bus when it was struck by the train, family members said. Her husband, Tim Orr, was with her and was also injured. On Wednesday, he was in intensive care at a Biloxi hospital.
Debbie Orr “will be greatly missed,” Bastrop Senior Center President Barbara Adkins said. “She was just such a pleasant person and bigger than life at times.”
She was known for wearing crazy hats and making beautiful rings.
“It’s going to be a big loss for the center for sure,” Adkins said. “She was just a great person. Very bubbly, very cheerful, very creative. Just a fun-loving person. She had a laugh that would just tear you up. She was great.”
Clinton Havran’s stepdaughter Sheryl Kasper told the American-Statesman that Havran and his wife loved to travel. She said he was easygoing and went to the coffee shop every day in the small town of Sealy, about two hours east-southeast of Austin.
“He loved journeys and traveling and socializing with people,” she said.
His wife, Annie, is in the hospital and expected to recover.
Lockhart ISD Superintendent Susan Bohn knew the Hoffmans, killed Tuesday. “Ken was the quieter of the two,” Bohn said. She considered Peggy Hoffman an adviser, one who had insight into the burdens administrators and teachers face over such things as the launch of a new curriculum.
Debbie Orr, killed in Tuesday’s crash, was on the Bastrop Senior Center board and helped organize the Biloxi bus excursion.
Ken and Peggy Hoffman, killed Tuesday in Biloxi, Miss., when a train hit their bus, had 85 years in combined service to the Lockhart school district.