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home : obituaries : obituaries April 15, 2014

7/2/2013 10:12:00 AM
Howard H. Hokkanen
Howard H. Hokkanen
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Howard H. Hokkanen

Howard H. Hokkanen, 87, longtime resident of Annandale, passed away on Monday, June 24, 2013, at St. Cloud Hospital.

Funeral services were Saturday, June 29, at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato, with Pastor Lyndon Korhonen officiating and burial at Riverside Cemetery of French Lake Township. Memorials preferred to the Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church of Cokato and CentraCare Health Foundation (St. Cloud Hospital).

He is survived by his wife, Adeline of Annandale; children, Darlene (Dave) Zylstra of Maple Lake, Patty (Steve) Hohag of St. Michael, and Ken (Bev) Hokkanen of Chaska; grandchildren Kelley (Erik) Johnson, Joe (Jody) Zylstra, Alison (Ben) Menk, Ryan (Lisa) Zylstra, Ashley (Jeremiah Flintrop) Zylstra, Ben (Laurie) Hokkanen, and Sara (Clint Gunkel) Hokkanen; eight great-grandchildren; nephew George (Frances) Abernathy; niece Liz (Virgil) Carlson, and many relatives and friends.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Sarah; brothers Walter, Rayno, Elmer; sisters Anna, Elma; and half-sister Mayme Abernathy.

Howard, the son of Oscar and Sarah Hokkanen, was born on the farm near West Albion on April 26, 1926. He attended the Gunnary country school and Annandale High School. During his high school junior year a tornado hit the family farm and there was so much work that he quit school to work on the farm. In 1962 he received his high school diploma when he passed the G.E.D. tests at St. Cloud College. Howard continued to work on the farm and for a short time he worked at the Ford Motor Plant in St. Paul. On April 23, 1949, he was united in marriage to Adeline Lappi at the Apostolic Church Parsonage in Cokato. They lived and worked on the family farm. In 1977 they built a new home on the farm and have enjoyed living there for 36 years. In 1962 he stopped dairy farming and continued to crop farm and started working for the Agriculture and Stabilization and Conservation (A.S.C.) as a Federal Crop Insurance Agent for Wright, Hennepin and Carver counties. In 1973 he became the manager for the Cokato Mutual Fire Insurance Company and also worked as an insurance agent for the company. He worked as the manager for 23 years, was on the board of directors for 58 years and recently retired as an insurance agent in 2012. He enjoyed fishing since he was a young boy when his father took the boys fishing on rainy summer days when they could not work on the farm and he continued to enjoyed many fishing outings with family and friends. He was active on his bowling team and enjoyed winning several championships. He loved sports and enjoyed playing in casual baseball, football and basketball games. He continued to follow all the professional Minnesota sport teams throughout his life; especially baseball. Howard loved living on the farm and he loved his family and enjoyed keeping up with all their activities. He liked nothing better than to visit and enjoy meals with his family and friends.

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