Wilfred Francis Hoff was born on August 23, 1918 in Denver, Colorado to John Francis and Rose (Spitzmiller) Hoff. His father died when he was very young and his mother remarried Joseph Nachbauer. Fr. Hoff has one half sister, Lorraine (Nachbauer) Williams, of Burbank, California who has six children. Fr. Hoff was baptized on September 8, 1918 at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Denver. He attended grammar school at St. Dominic Elementary School from 1925-32, Lake Junior High from 1932-33, and North High School from 1933-1936. In 1936 his vocation led him to St. Thomas Seminary in Denver where he studied the next four years. He entered the Dominican Novitiate on August 4, 1940 and was given the religious name Gabriel. His first profession was August 5, 1941 and solemn profession August 5, 1944. He continued his studies for the priesthood and was ordained on June 5, 1947. All his formation and education was done at St. Thomas Aquinas Priory in River Forest, Illinois.
His first assignment was associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, Wisconsin from 1948-51. He served over the next thirty years at the following places: 1951-53 associate pastor at Holy Name Parish in Kansas City, Missouri; 1953-61 as associate pastor and 1961-67 as pastor at St. Helena Parish in Amite, Louisiana; 1967-70 as hospital chaplain at Methodist Hospital and helped at Holy Rosary Parish in Houston, Texas; 1970-76 as associate pastor at St. Dominic Parish in Denver, Colorado; and 1976-83 as associate pastor at Holy Ghost Parish in Hammond, Louisiana. In 1983 he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and worked in the Diocese of Santa Fe for the next 25 years and lived at the Newman Center with the Dominican Community there.
He moved to Chicago, Illinois to St. Pius V Priory, assisted living center, in 2008. As his health deteriorated, he was moved in 2010 to Holy Family of Nazareth Nursing Facility for a short time then to Resurrection Life Center in Chicago, where he spent the rest of days. His hearing became progressively worse over the years and though he couldn’t always hear you, he was always pleased to have visitors and only wished one thing, that God would bring him home to his eternal reward.
On July 18, 2014 Fr. Hoff died peacefully at Resurrection Hospital. At the time of his death he was 95 years old and the oldest member of the province. Morning Prayer/Office of the Dead was sung and the Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in River Forest, Illinois on July 24, 2014. Fr. Charles Bouchard, O.P., provincial, presided and Fr. George Reynolds, O.P., preached. His family was represented at the funeral by one niece and one nephew from California. Because of age and health, his sister, Lorraine, was unable to attend. He was buried at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois in the Dominican section.