Son of Former Kensington Clubs Member Shares His Murder Mystery Book

Book Details His Mother’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and Decline

*In memory of Susan Hoffman, Wayne Hoffman’s mother, we are reposting this story. Susan Hoffman passed away on November 17, 2022.

Tablet Magazine Executive Editor Wayne Hoffman, whose mother participated in both Jewish Council for the Aging’s Kensington Clubs and Misler adult day care centers, gave an intriguing talk May 23 about his latest book that focuses on both his mother’s decline due to the effects of Alzheimer’s as well as the the murder of his maternal great-grandmother.

“The whole time I was doing the research, I watched my mother’s decline,” Hoffman said. It got to the point where the “two stories were so intertwined in my mind. They were braided.”

Hoffman spoke about his book, “The End of Her” at an event sponsored by the Jewish Residents of Leisure World in Silver Spring.

A family story about how Hoffman’s great-grandmother had been fatally shot while nursing her infant child never rang true to Hoffman. The book follows his research to get at the real story.

Now, a decade after her diagnosis, Susan Hoffman currently lives in an assisted living facility. Her son praised Kensington Clubs for “keeping her occupied and engaged” and also for giving his father some needed time for himself.

“The good  news is she is not in distress. She is safe. She is well cared for,” Hoffman told the audience. “Here’s the bad news. That’s all the good news,” he said, adding, “Almost all of her is gone.”

His mother’s sense of humor and vivaciousness comes through in the book,  including this tidbit. She always made a spare turkey for the family seder just in case there wasn’t enough food for everyone.