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Paul Hotfelder: 1949-2023


Paul Hotfelder, former assistant professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, died on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. He was 73.

Hotfelder grew up in Bel-Nor and was a 1968 graduate of Mercy High School. He earned a degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Criminal Justice in 1972  and a Master’s from Webster University in 1980.

Paul Hotfelder
SLU File Photo.

Hotfelder worked with the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole from 1973 until he retired in 2006. He served as a unit supervisor, director of community services, and finally, district supervisor. While working with Probation and Parole, Hotfelder also served as an adjunct professor at several colleges and universities, including Saint Louis University.

In 2014, he joined the SLU faculty as an assistant professor, teaching introductory courses in criminal justice, corrections, ethics and theory. His research interests included criminal justice system operations; policy and ethics; community corrections, particularly probation and parole, and offender treatment programming.

At SLU, he received a Faculty Citation for Academic Excellence and a Curator’s Scholar award. He was the faculty liaison for the Gamma Beta Honor Society and the student Criminal Justice Club. He retired in May 2020.

“Paul was an invaluable part of our Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) programs for considerably longer than the six years he was a full-time faculty member," said Noelle E. Fearn, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Work. "He taught for us as an adjunct for decades before that, since the late 1980s, and he was a gem. He mostly eschewed technological advances and regularly poked fun at himself for having his wife, Bev, help him with technology-related tasks. It tickled us to no end that, upon his retirement — in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic — we held a zoom retirement party for him and sent him party favors. He planned to return to in-person teaching this fall and was excited to be back in the classroom with our CCJ undergraduate students — he will be sorely missed, especially his dry wit and humor.”

Hotfelder is survived by his wife of 46 years, Beverly; his four children: Emily Brooker (Chris), Ted, Aaron (Violet), and Libby Sommer (Adam); six grandchildren; and many friends.

Visitation will be at Kutis Affton Chapel at10151 Gravois, on Sunday, June 4, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.  A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Gerard Majella Catholic Church on Monday, June 5. at 10 a.m.  Family and friends can gather at church at 9:45 a.m. for a Rosary service. Interment will be at St. Augustine Cemetery (Hecker, Il.) at 2 p.m.