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Mildred F. Hokanson
(April 25, 1920 - November 22, 2012)

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Mildred F. Hokanson

Millie died on November 22, Thanksgiving Day, surrounded by the love of her family and friends. She was 92 years young. She was born Mildred Frances Kolb on April 25, 1920 in Green Bay, Wisconsin to Libby and Peter Kolb. Millie liked to tell stories of helping out in her grandfather’s Bohemian Bakery during her childhood. She graduated from Mount Mary College in 1941 and taught high school English and Drama for two years in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. In 1943 she completed officer training in the Navy and was commissioned in the WAVES, earning the rank of lieutenant. Assigned to Naval Base Bremerton, she served as a communications officer coding and de-coding messages from the ships in the Pacific. It was here that Millie’s auburn beauty caught the eye of Lieutenant Russ Hokanson. He was so smitten that he arranged with a friend who was the duty officer to have Millie’s date for an officers’ dance put on the night shift so that Russ could have her undivided attention. His maneuver was successful and his charm worked its magic. They were married in February, 1945, and after the war moved to Seattle’s Queen Anne hill. There Millie and Russ spent 62 wonderful years together, raising their five daughters and one son in their home on Kinnear Place, which became the center of a lively social life and many celebrations for the extended Hokanson clan. Millie loved a party! During her very energetic years raising her family, Millie also found time to volunteer for a variety of civic and arts organizations. She was active in St. Anne’s parish and in the archdiocese of Seattle, teaching religion classes and coaching students in debate and public speaking. She served on many boards and guilds, including the Seattle University Guild Board, Seattle Young Artists Festival, Seattle Junior Programs, and Women’s Auxiliary of the Seattle Bar Association. She and Russ were volunteers for over 40 years for the Red Cross. Avid golfers, they were longtime members of Sand Point Golf Club where Millie enjoyed the distinction of making two holes-in-one! Millie loved to play bridge with a wide group of friends and she was active in the Literary and Travel Club. Known for her vivacious nature and her wonderful sense of humor, Millie had a talent for friendship. As one friend put it, “You can’t help giving your gift of spirit any more than the sun can withhold its heat.” But the focus of her life was always her children, whom she nurtured with great love and unflagging devotion. She modeled for them a lively interest in and concern for others, a joy for learning, and an appreciation of the arts. Predeceased by her beloved husband, Russ, in 2007, Millie is survived by her six children: Connie Hokanson, Erika Michels (Bruce), Alicia Hokanson, (Michael Turnsen), Sarah Puckett (Walt), Russ Hokanson, Jr. (Mary), and Johanna Sherman- LaRussa (Mike LaRussa). She was the proud grandmother of Nicole McDonagh (Joe), Madeleine Hanley (Jason), Erik Michels, Colin Puckett (Becky), Jenny Miller (Dave), Karin Hokanson, and Brianna , Spencer, and Corinna Sherman. Millie delighted in spending time with her great-grandchildren, Jack and Reilly McDonagh, Gavin and Quinn Hanley, Lucy and Charlie Belle Miller, and Ryker Puckett. She cherished her lifelong friendship with her dear brotherin- law, Randolph Hokanson, who was often her dinner companion during these last years. Her family is so grateful for the loving care she received from the whole staff at Bayview Manor, where she lived since 2008. A celebration of her life will be held at St. Anne Catholic Church, 1411 First Avenue West on Saturday, December 1st at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to follow. Remembrances can be made to The Millie Hokanson Library Fund at St. Anne School, 101 West Lee Street, Seattle, 98119, or to The American Red Cross.

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