Howard H. Hokkanen, Annandale

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Howard H. Hokkanen, 87, a long-time resident of Annandale, passed away Monday, June 24, 2013, at St. Cloud Hospital. Funeral services were 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato, with Rev. Lyndon Korhonen officiating. Burial followed at Riverside Cemetery of French Lake Township. Visitation was 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato, and one hour prior to the service on Saturday. A prayer service was at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the church. 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 and Elmer; sisters, Anna and 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. In 1962, he started working for the Agriculture and Stabilization and Conservation 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 enjoy 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 sports 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. Memorial preferred to the Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church of Cokato and CentraCare Health Foundation (St. Cloud Hospital). Arrangements have been provided by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato. www.swansonpeterson.com, 320-286-2534.

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