Born January 1, 1949, Eugene Reginald Hoff, vigorously fought his battle with cancer through August 10th in Scottsdale, Arizona surrounded by his wife, Lana and four daughters, Jamie, Lora, Kori and Kaycee. Reg, as he was known to everyone, was married to Lana for 49 years.
Reg was born in Miles City, MT and raised in Baker with his brothers Tom, Howard, Fred, Paul and sisters, Peg and Kay. Following graduation from Baker High, Reg and Lana moved to Billings where Jamie was born in 1970. He graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Business Agriculture in 1972 before moving to Philipsburg. Lora was born in 1973 while he was the Granite County Extension Agent. From there, they moved to Forsyth and another little girl was born, Kori in 1976, while Reg was the Rosebud County Extension Agent. Kaycee was born in 1978 and as Lana was giving birth, Reg handed her the paperwork to buy 80 cattle, thus the humble beginnings of the Hoff Ranch.
Reg and Lana took great pride in raising their four amazing daughters and are extremely proud of what each has achieved to date. The girls are beautiful, hardworking, tough, no-excuse-making, successful women. Jamie, a Cal-State Northridge graduate, continues to climb the corporate ladder in Scottsdale after spending 22 years in Southern California. Lora, an MSU graduate, holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and has been married to Pat for 19 years. She has been a high school science in teacher in Arizona since 1995. Kori, a 1998 South Dakota School of Mines graduate, wife of Brian for 13 years, mother of Brady 11 and Trey 5, is the head Women’s Basketball Coach at Mesa Community College and a NJCAA National Championship Coach. Kaycee, a mortgage lender and 2001 graduate of MSU, is a mother of two to Parker, 9, and Kynzi 6, has been married to John since 2005 while currently residing in Bozeman.
Reg began working at Peabody Energy for Big Sky Coal Company in Colstrip in 1978 as the Reclamation Supervisor where he reclaimed surface coal mined lands during the day, and ranched at night and weekends, until retiring from Big Sky in 2015. Reg relied on his ranching experience and common sense to pioneer reclamation technology to restore surface coal mined lands to sustainable land uses that endure today. His efforts were recognized by both the state of Montana and Federal Office of Surface Mining on multiple occasions, including several national awards of excellence in reclamation. Yet while it may have been Reg’s name associated with the awards, he accepted each one with “we” as it was important to him to ensure everyone understood it was a team effort. Some great friendships were built at Peabody; each meaning a great deal to Reg.
For over 35 years, his professional reclamation efforts inspired others to excel in the field, resulting in restoration of post-mined land uses that equaled or exceeded pre-mining land. His career legacy is the Big Sky Mine reclamation that he successfully completed, resulting in the crown jewel of Peabody reclaimed lands. The numerous awards are the testimony; including just recently receiving honors for (another) National award for excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation earlier this month.
While Reg was at the mine, Lana was running the ranch and farming while also raising the girls. Reg came home, had a couple of cold Bud Lights and butter and crackers before heading out to the ranch to do whatever needed to be done – they make a hell of a team. They continued to grow their herd and acquire more land on the North side. Their cattle continue to be highly respected and sought after within the industry, so much so earning them the Red Angus Grid Master award in 2014. Through hard work, determination and the family’s “never give up” attitude – regardless of what challenge they faced – together they expanded to their current successful operation, which Lana will make sure forges on full steam ahead.
Reg was also actively involved in the local farming community, serving on the Hammond Valley Ditch Board, Weed Board, and Conservation District Board all while using his Count Extension Agent experience and knowledge to share with anyone who would listen and interested in new ideas.
In between ranching, farming and raising a family, Reg always made time for fun too – including feeding his need for speed. From his days of racing cars as a youngster (and blaming it on his brothers) to his never-ending supply of $5 bills stashed in his visor on that boring straightaway stretch to/from Colstrip, to going to Las Vegas for the “Drive a NASCAR” experience for Father’s Day. Reg loved to laugh and make time for his family and friends. Even fulfilling a trip to Disneyland that he promised his grandkids and taking on the biggest coaster there – laughing and having more fun than they did. J
Holidays were always a big deal to Reg and without question the family gathers every December. Each Christmas day Lana makes her infamous prime rib for a late night dinner with the girls, their husbands, grandkids and any family friends that were around – the door was always open, just like his heart. The spirit of Christmas meant so much to Reg that he went to the extent of having the neighbor dress as Santa Claus and come to the house through the patio door and hand out “only 1” present to Brady, Parker, Kynzi and Trey. Reg would smile ear to ear while drinking his Christmas cheer, happy as could be as his girls, the kids and family were all together.
Reg is survived by his wife Lana, his daughters Jamie, Lora (Pat), Kori (Brian), Kaycee (John), brothers Tom (Colleen), Fred (Ann), Paul (Marcie), sisters Peg (Bob), Kay (Kay Lynn), sister-in-law Diana and numerous nieces, nephews, and grandkids. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gene and Margaret, and brother, Howard.