School 21
Official Obituary of

Tracey Ellen (Hoffman) Thomas

February 15, 1960 ~ May 21, 2023 (age 63) 63 Years Old

Tracey Thomas Obituary

Tracey Thomas, 63, passed away on May 21, 2023 at her home surrounded by her family after a year-and-a-half struggle with pancreatic cancer.

Tracey Hoffman was born on February 15, 1960 in Norristown, PA to Everett Hoffman and Mary Catherine McCarthy Hoffman, who survive her.  She grew up along the east coast as her father followed his career managing Sears department stores - Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, New Jersey.  She graduated from high school in Toms River, NJ and then attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and received her bachelor’s degree in 1981.  She then received a master’s degree from the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago in 1983.  There she met fellow student Joe Thomas, and they were married June 18, 1983 in Toms River.  They spent their honeymoon on Swans Island, ME and returned there many times over the years.  They lived in Lexington, KY where Tracey earned a master’s degree in English literature, then on to Bloomington, IN where she earned a PhD in English.  After a brief time in Connecticut, Tracey and Joe settled in South Bend, IN in 1989 when Joe began a 26-year career at the Notre Dame Law Library.  During that time, they welcomed four wonderful children into their family: Maggie (Mel) Thomas of Los Angeles, Abe Thomas of South Bend, Elinor Thomas of New York City, and Julia Thomas of South Bend.

During a four-year stint in Washington, DC, Tracey began a new career in academic advising at Catholic University.  Upon returning to South Bend in 2019, Tracey continued to pursue that career at Notre Dame.

Tracey is also survived by her three siblings: Michael (Janell) Hoffman of Leesburg, VA; Hayley (David) Hoffman of Washington, DC; and Andi Hoffman of Miami, FL, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and friends.

Just before Tracey began hospice care at home, Tracey and Joe were able to be in Los Angeles for the birth of their first grandchild, Sylvia Louise Thomas.  The time Sylvie and her Nana spent together was a great comfort and joy for Tracey in her final days.

Tracey was many things to many people.  A teacher, a knitter, a cook, a writer, a party-giver, a gardener, an avid Cubs fan, a keen observer of the political scene, a reader, a story-teller, a planner, an advocate.  But her greatest gift was her constant and deep devotion to her husband, children, family, and friends.  In a world where some people don’t seem to care, Tracey cared deeply and always worked to put that care into action.  Her mantra was “love is the answer,” and she didn’t just say it; she lived it.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 26 at 11:00am at Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 226 N. Hill Street, South Bend, IN. Friends may visit with the family at the church from 10:00-11:00am, prior to the funeral mass. A private family burial will take place immediately following the mass at Cedar Grove Cemetery at the University of Notre Dame.

Flowers may be sent directly to Saint Joseph Catholic Church.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Tracey Ellen (Hoffman) Thomas, please visit our floral store.

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May 26, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Saint Joseph Catholic Church (N. Hill Street)

Mass of Christian Burial
May 26, 2023

11:00 AM
Saint Joseph Catholic Church (N. Hill Street)


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