Three of four killed in Biloxi crash were from Austin area,

Lo­cals re­call Bas­trop woman, Lock­hart cou­ple, Sealy man.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Asher Price and Andy Sevilla ash­er­price@states­ asevilla@ac­n­news­pa­ Con­tact Asher Price at 512-445-3643. Twit­ter: @ash­er­price Con­tact Andy Sevilla at 512-321-2557. Twit­ter: @MrAndySevilla

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.

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