Merry, AKA, Granny, was born early Christmas morning at home in Alameda, CA to Martin and Geneva Ohlmeyer. In 1952 Mom met a young air force man from Nebraska, Ronnie Hoffman. They were married in Texas in June 1953. They had two children, Michael and Sheree. Merry was expecting Sheree in March of 1956 when Ronnie lost his life with 17 other airmen in a tragic military plane accident. Mom, Mike, and I moved to Nebraska to live with our Grandparents. In 1958 Ronnie’s brother-in-law introduced mom to a young plumber that he worked with, Kenny Richards. The Hoffman family adored him and treated him like their own. Mom and Dad were married in 1959 in Lincoln, Nebraska and the four of us took off in Mom’s 1956 Chevy and headed to CA to be by Mom’s family. We settled in Castro Valley where life was full of great times with close family friends. Weekends were trips to Lake Tahoe, camping/water skiing at Don Pedro and Shasta, poker games with the Millers, Galvins and Buffingtons. Mom was the perfect housewife/mom. Dinner was always at 6 p.m. and you better be there! Our home was always an open door to all of our friends and Mom was always there for us! In May of 1973 tragedy struck again when Michael was in a fatal motorcycle accident; but Mom knew that she had to go on and be there for the rest of us. Joy came back to our family in 1974 when the first grandson was born, named after his Uncle Michael. Then came two more, Adam in 1976 and James in 1978. The grandsons brought so much joy to Dad and Mom. Mom was the best Granny! She hardly missed a baseball or soccer game and always made Birthdays and Christmas extra special. Mom and Dad parted ways in 1980 and she married Bill Roche in 1983. They lived most of their 39 years in Oakdale.
While living on Orange Blossom Road, Granny started growing beautiful flowers and sold them at the Modesto Farmers Market where she served as board secretary. She opened “Merry’s Country Garden” on their property. Later they started making wood décor that they would sell at craft fairs. Mom was a true artist and loved being creative, especially in her home and garden. She was a perfectionist and believed in doing it right the first time! Her favorite place was “outside.” It was there that she spent time in her garden or golfing. She was a past member of Spring Creek CC, Muni Niners and Creekside Ladybugs. She also worked at Claratina Golf where she was loved by all! She loved and missed her two great-grandchildren Ryder and Ella Maisel so much the last two-and-a-half years. She will be deeply missed by all of us!
Husband Bill Roche; daughter Sheree Vegas (Robert Wallace); grandsons Mike Maisel, Adam Maisel (Thanh), James (Braundy) Maisel, all of Oakdale; two greats Ryder and Ella Maisel; stepson Steve Roche; brothers, Ron Ohlmeyer, Dan Ohlmeyer, and sister Judy Brown and her two much loved Westies, Kate and AJ. She was preceded in death by her adored son Michael Richards; husbands, Ronnie Hoffman, Kenny Richards and sister, Carmen Hansen.
A Celebration of Life for Granny will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 2 at Bloomingcamp Ranch, 10528 Highway 108/120, Oakdale.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
Aug. 24, 2022