Elizabeth “Grandma Bizz” Anne Hofferber-O’Brien


Elizabeth Anne Hofferber O’Brien, 72, of Lawrence, KS, passed away at home on December 23, 2017 at 11:12 pm. Her big personality, Happy-Go-Lucky spirit, and her unselfish nature will be greatly missed by all. She was known to everyone as “Grandma Bizz” and she held a very special place in the hearts of her two children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her world revolved around the love she had for them. Her greatest wish in life was to be surrounded by her family, always! There are many awesome “Grandma Bizz” stories and she loved reminiscing about all the fun times we had together. Some of her favorite activities included coffee with family, surprise parties, and show-tunes from the Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, and Oklahoma.

She was born in Glendale, CA, and spent her early years in Paris, France and Cameroon, Africa. She loved to travel and passed that quality on to her family. She lived in CA, AR, ID, UT and OR before settling down in Lawrence, KS. She went to Secretarial college in Boston, MA. Her main employment for many years was a telephone switchboard operator in CA, UT and in Lawrence, KS for Lawrence Memorial Hospital. She loved to read, do crosswords puzzles, and play dice or cards. She enjoyed crocheting baby blankets, hats, and booties! There are many children in Lawrence and across the country that are wrapped warmly in a Grandma Bizz Creation. She volunteered/worked for Just Food and Penn House where she worked hard to help the hungry and homeless; as she understood their situation first hand because she had been hungry and homeless and vowed to never see another person have to suffer. Additionally, she had a huge passion for rescue animals and blessed her grandchildren with many pets over the years.

We love you Grandma Bizz!

Survivors include her mother, Jane Skurdal, Raymore, MO; sister, Connie Hofferber-Jones, Canoe Island, WA; daughter, Dawn O’Brien Taylor (Leonard) Bloomsburg, PA; granddaughter, Crystal Taylor (Ben), great-grandsons, Chase Scruggs & Corben Taylor, Lawrence, KS; grandson, Ricky Lockner (Anna), great-grandchildren, Adalee & Roderick Lockner, Aurora, OH; son, Shawn O’Brien (Catherine), grandchildren, Alexzander, Katelyn, Kaden, Ashley, Kaci, Lawrence, KS. She was preceded in death by her sister, Terry Moore.

Please join us for a Celebration of Life and her 73rd Birthday at:
The W Banquet Hall 704 Connecticut St, Lawrence, KS 66044.

January 24, 2018
4:34 PM to 8:34 PM (cocktail hour, appetizers, and remembrance)

Memorial Contributions may be made in her name and sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary. Family requests, no flowers or gifts.
For more information or to post a condolence, please visit warrenmcelwain.com.

12 Condolences

  1. Barbara Pitner on December 28, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Buzz was a wonderful, caring and thoughtful person who showed kindness to all people she met. We became friends through her time she spent at Just Food. It was a privilege to get to know her and call her a friend. I shall miss her.

  2. Maggie Osborn on December 28, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Such a sweet lady. she will be missed. First met her through Crystal and my daughter and LMH. Always a smile. Thinking of all the family at this time.

  3. Carol Leffler on December 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    How sad that she’s gone from us! I wish we could have kept her forever. Like Barb, I met her through Just Food and became friends. Such a caring person. She gave so much even when it was difficult for her. I, too, shall miss her.

  4. Loia Campbell on December 28, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Dearest Bizz, I miss you so much and I hurt that I never got to say good bye. We shared so much, good and bad. There was a reason that we met in that faraway place so long ago. It was so we would always have a sister who under stood what life was like for us. We weren’t often together, and once I had to go find you, but You were always there for me. You were so generous with the people you cared about and shared your time and what little you had with them. You have left us too early and too suddenly. You will be forever in my heart. Loia

  5. Rita on December 28, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Such a loving, wonderful friend. I met her through Just Foods, working with her and then developing a sincere friendship. I saw her often, and she often picked up senior food for me, as I gave her a favorite peanut butter (chunky) from time to time.
    She was passionate about work, people, and especially her grandchildren. I am happy to have known her. You will be remembered Grandma Bizz ( your phone numbet is still in my phone). love in Christ, Rita You have definitely left us too soon, but I am sure you are happy and being productive, and compassionate as always.

  6. Thad Holcombe on December 29, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Bizz was my “trainer” for intake at Just Foods. She put in many hours – always sharing a bit about her grandchildren and experience overseas in mission field of Presbyterian Church She endured a lot of physical pain, but it did not deter her from doing her work at Just Foods. My condolences to – she will be missed.

  7. Sharilyn on December 29, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    She was a great roommate.

  8. Aaron Davis on January 1, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Grandma Buzz, I will miss you but you will always be in my heart and memoriescany time I visit KU. Thank you for guiding, listening, and being a great friend while I went through school, your support was unwavering. Thank you for being my family away from home. Love always, Aaron Davis

  9. Mike Lickteig on January 4, 2018 at 9:11 am

    We were thrilled to have Bizz as part of our family at Penn House, and are saddened that her time here was so short. She offered so much to the staff and our patrons– wisdom, good cheer, calm support and friendship. Our days here without her will not be the same.

    Bizz, you will be missed.

  10. Connie Hofferber Jones on January 7, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Joseph and I were shocked and saddened by the news of Bizz’s passing just before Christmas. Bizz was my step-sister who contacted us after our mutual father died — a surprise sister my sister and I never knew we had. Although we lived far apart, we kept in touch, my late sister especially embracing her. She traveled to Idaho to see our daughter’s marriage and this fall traveled again to celebrate the marriage of our other daughter. She sent birthday cards, holiday greetings, and even added her original last name back into her name to solidify our family relations. I am so glad she made the effort to find my sister and I, which, at first, must have been a little scary. I regret I never asked her enough questions about her life before meeting us. I look forward to learning more about her posthumously from others in the O’Brien family. Joseph and I will be unable to attend the memorial service, but I will be thinking of her on January 24 and wishing her godspeed.

  11. Alex Siebrasse on January 8, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    I loved Grandma Bizz a whole lot! She was the sweetest person ever. When I volunteered at Just Food, she always greeted me with a warm hello. Grandma Bizz, you will be greatly missed! R.I.P Sweetheart!

  12. Linda Walton on January 11, 2018 at 9:46 am

    I became acquainted with Gma Bizz through her compassion for animals. She kindly called me when she came across outdated baby food at Just Food, which I picked up and delivered to Operation Wildlife. Instead of being disposed of, it was used to feed injured/orphaned animals. She had a huge heart not only for people, but critters, too! She was a wonderful lady and will be missed.

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