In Memoriam – Larry Hoffman

Lawrence “Larry” Layton Hoffman

Lawrence “Larry” Layton Hoffman, age 83, passed away July 30, 2022, at his daughter’s home in Denver, Colorado. 

Born in Los Angeles to Maxine and Charles Hoffman on October 21, 1938, Larry graduated from Stanford University and USC Law School. He served in the United States Navy, and then began his legal career in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  After relocating to Lake Tahoe, Larry was a tireless land use attorney for the remainder of his career, arguing landmark cases all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Larry was an avid and life-long world traveler, from his private pilot’s license to his international travel retirement in his “Born Free” RV, he revelled in exploring every nook and cranny of all 6 navigable continents.  An enthusiastic outdoorsman, he also shared his love of skiing, hiking, backpacking, and running rivers with his family and friends around the globe.  At home, Larry was a mesmerizing conversationalist, a voracious reader, and an adored grandpa.  He will always be remembered for his boundless curiosity, relentless optimism, and indefatigable zeal for adventure.  

Larry was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters Judy and Carol “Corky” Hoffman. He is survived by his daughters Kelsey Hoffman and Cameron (Andrew) Hoffman; his grandchildren Leo, Marco, Avery, Rowan and Cooper; and his sister Linda. 

In true Larry-style, he requested “no fanfare.” Instead, please celebrate his extraordinary life as he would have – on a lake-view deck, cocktail in hand, telling his tales and having a good laugh. If you’d like to make a donation in his name, he would be honored for it to go to supporting the Tahoe forests and majestic Sugar Pines he loved so dearly for so many years.  Please leave a comment and/or memory as well, if you feel so moved.

Leave a message below for Larry’s family and friends:

9 thoughts on “In Memoriam – Larry Hoffman”

  1. To my dad, Larry (aka “Pops”). You taught me to be a fierce advocate, a devoted nature lover, a fearless traveler and an inquisitive thinker. How I cherish your amazing stories, insightful inputs, goofy grandpa-ing, and life-long example of forging your own path. We love you so much and miss you so deeply. I am immensely grateful that I continue to see you everyday in the way that I parent, lawyer and appreciate my world. Love you. Cameron

  2. Because of Larry, I had a cheering section when I left graduate school for a less traditional path, I had backpack for a 7 month trip around the world (and an employer enabling me save enough money to go), and I had a fellow adventurer gripping a boogie board navigating a class 5 river. Because of Larry, I have been introduced to the wonders (and zing) of a daily oregano oil regime, I never underestimate the power of “a little fresh air in here,” and I appreciate taking the “long way home” to stretch the time with good company and in good conversation. Because of Larry, my life was richer. Thank you. Jen

  3. Richard Avallone

    I travelled with Larry on a tour of Ukraine quite a few years ago. It was a great trip which left me with many fine memories. We went through Crimea, and did a tour of the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Larry was the quintessential World Traveller with his Born Free motorhome. I doubt if there is anyone else who has the experiences he accumulated. Although I am saddened to see Larry pass, I am glad that he was able to live his unbelievable life like he wanted.

  4. Larry was one of the most astute and politically adept advocates for property rights in this generation. His intelligence and ability to articulate a strong well-reasoned and balanced argument in favor of “x”, or in opposition to “y” was unmatched. I had many opportunities to serve with him on various committees and working groups, acting as co-chair with him on the consolidation of the North Tahoe Fire Districts, the public utilities, as well as consideration of incorporation (city-hood). He was exceedingly generous with his time, energy, and expertise. Even when a activist group or an individual disagreed with him, Larry was always civil and the consummate professional. As all of you know, he was also a man of adventure! It was always interesting to hear of his latest exploits, fast-water kayaking in some foreign land, or Mt. Climbing, and the injuries he sustained during this treks. His smile and wit were infectious. He will be missed; but this world is a better place because he was in it.

  5. Larry,
    was a truly good and authentic .person, He was also a Lion in Lions clothing. He could bite and bite hard saving. me from the from the Government regulators on several occasions. In the Middle East he stood toe to toe with belligerent tank commanders blocking our way. Larry is missed, and will be missed for a long time to come.


  6. So we arrived at the Tunisia Libya border only to find out that Americans would not be admitted. Fortunately Austrian Peter was there to drive Born Free but Larry would have to return to Tunis and get a flight to Cairo, We and Born Free spent 10 days crossing Libya and after a night in Tobruk we reached the Egyptian border where after hours of delay we found Larry who had thumbed a lift from Cairo in a lorry. A few weeks later having travelled through Egypt, Jordan and Syria we entered Turkey. In the middle of nowhere Larry announced he was leaving and driving east. He was driving to China!

  7. Larry Hoffman was one of my most important mentors as I began my career at Lake Tahoe. In the early 1980s Larry helped me understand the unique and complicated Tahoe Regional Planning Agency during my five years as a radio news reporter. Watching him in action at the podium during many meetings, I learned the fine art of offering public comment in such forums Later, on Larry’s recommendation, I was hired by the Board of Directors to be Executive Director of the Tahoe Sierra Preservation Council, at the time Tahoe’s largest private property rights organization. Larry also facilitated my understanding and involvement with Placer County leading to my role as the Tahoe Field Deputy for then Placer County District 5 Supervisor Mike Fluty. This work included helping businesses as well as residents understand and participate in the development of local community plans under terms of the 1987 TRPA Regional Plan. In summary, Larry helped launch me on a long career as a community and business advocate with TRPA and other regional agencies around the Lake as well as all of the region’s local governments. While Larry was a tough, hard-driving attorney, he was also a compassionate, caring and curious human being as he again demonstrated during his ’round the world travels in later life. As I have grown in my endeavors, I too try to serve as a mentor to those starting out and in the formative years of their careers and be generous and helpful to them as Larry was to me. I concur with the comments made by John Falk, above, about the skills and qualities Larry possessed and used so effectively in business and life.

  8. Larry had a huge influence on me and my career at a point in time when I needed it the most. His activism and passion for what he did was inspiring. I recall so many occasions listening to him thunder away at various agencies from the podium. While he was a property rights activist, he was also a common sense deal maker, and our region is still benefitting from some of those deals. He was an original example of how one person can make a difference.

  9. Was very sorry to hear of Larry’s passing. An iconoclast if ever there were one — full stop.

    I did some contract legal work for him during the 90s. He was an amazingly zealous/effective advocate for his clients. I remember being terrified when the case law he asked me to research didn’t match up well with the argument he wanted to make. He would simply say, “I’m not paying you to tell me why I can’t do something. I’m paying you to do the opposite. Go back to the library in Carson City, get on the scope (“Larry-speak” for computers), and come back with a better answer.” Though he was tough on me, he was always resolutely fair, and I think he really enjoyed mentoring young lawyers. I learned a lot from him about work ethic, tenacity, and authenticity. When it came to litigation, Larry knew he was going to beat you, and you also knew he was going to beat you 🙂

    I left Truckee after many years, and corresponded with him every so often thereafter. Every time I pass his old office, I smile. That will never change. It was a privilege to know him, and learn from him.

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