Nowell Dean “Shorty” Hofer, 64, of Mitchell

MITCHELL — Nowell Dean “Shorty” Hofer, 64, of Mitchell, passed away Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls after a courageous battle with cancer.

Sioux Falls Visitation and Masonic Service will be Monday from 6 to 8 p.m., with a Public Masonic Service beginning at 6:30 p.m. at El Riad Shrine, 510 S. Phillips Ave., Sioux Falls.  Reception to follow.

Mitchell Visitation will be Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Will Funeral Chapel, 210 E. Green Drive, Mitchell.

Mitchell Funeral Service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at Northridge Baptist Church, 323 W. 23rd Street, Mitchell, with burial at Graceland Cemetery, Mitchell.

Nowell Dean “Shorty” Hofer, son of Sam and Ruth (Kleinsasser) Hofer, was born December 15, 1956, in Huron. He grew up on the farm near Hitchcock, where they worked hard raising livestock and milked cows. Shorty attended Hitchcock High School and James Valley Christian graduating in 1975.

After high school he helped his father farm and went to work for his uncle, Gene. They drove truck hauling gravel, rock and sand for a few years.  Shorty began working for Vern’s Manufacturing where he built gates and driving truck hauling steel and grain to several different places in the region.  He did return home to assist his father with some farming.

In 1983, his son, Noah was born. The same year, Shorty went to work for Fisher Sand and Gravel of Dickinson, N.D., for 15 years. On New Year’s Eve of 1987, Shorty met his lady, Deb Connor and in 1990 they were blessed with son, Elie. He moved to Mitchell where he worked for Mitchell Concrete.  Shorty had a plan, and in 1997 he began building Shorty’s Locker. It is there where he had met a lot of great customers who became friends. A business to which he operated with his family.

Shorty was a member of the Moose Lodge and an active member of the Mitchell Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, El Riad Shrine, Corn Palace Shrine Club where he served as President in 2012, and Circus Committee where he served as Circus Chairman for 2016-2017, and the Corn Palace Hillbillies. As Hillbillies, he did a lot of fun times with his good friend Jerry McNary. They traveled around the area and around the country going to parades with that old 1950 Hudson that they were able to make smoke and squirting water….lots of water. We also got into a water fight with the Fire Department, you can imagine who won. Shorty loved to ride his Harley Davidson, and he especially enjoyed his time in the Black Hills.

On September 20, 2019, Shorty was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma also known as Cancer of the Bile Ducts of the Liver. Then on September 27, 2019, had to put down “my” canine companion, Squeek. It was a hard time.

Shorty always wanted everyone to know that weather people he met through his business as customers or Mason/Shrine activities that he involved, he wanted to tell you he loved each and every one of you. You made his life special and complete.

Grateful for having shared his life are his lady, Deb Connor of Mitchell; children, Noah (Karen) Hughes of Marion, Elie (Michayla) Hofer of Mitchell; and Deb’s son, Simon Bullis; his father, Sam Hofer of Hitchcock; a sister, Rhonda Hofer of Huron; a brother, Lowell Hofer, of Huron; and many nieces’, nephews, and cousins.   

He was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Hofer on October 22, 2019; all of Shorty’s uncles, aunts, cousins; and Deb’s parents, Ron and Lorraine Denne of Mitchell; Deb’s Son, Albert Connor Jr.; and brothers, Gary and Mike Denne.   

For online obituary and guest register go to the Miller Funeral Home website at or the Will Funeral Chapel Website at

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