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John (Rick) Erik Hokanson
December 12, 1943 ~ May 20, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old
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John Erik (Rick) Hokanson, a longtime Chesterton resident, passed away on May 20, 2023 at the age of 79. He was born December 12, 1943 in Champaign, Illinois, to the late Virgil and Anne Hokanson. He was also preceded in death by his in-laws, Joe and Mary Hecox. He is survived by his loving wife of forty-five years, Carol (Hecox) Hokanson; sons Gregory (Katie) Hokanson and Mark (Katie) Hokanson; grandchildren Quinn, Conner, Jack and Ryan Hokanson; sister Lynn (Robert) Welsh; nieces Susan Welsh, Kathryn (Erik) Ahrendt and Sharon Welsh; sister-in-law Marilyn (Rick) Mason and brothers-in-law Bill (Pam) Hecox and Ray (Nancy) Hecox in addition to many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
Rick served as the president of his Chesterton High School class of 1962. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University in 1965 and thereafter served in the United States Army in Korea for two years. Following his military service, Rick began his career as the personnel director for the Delavan, Wisconsin, plant of the Libby Food Company. In 1978 he decided to return to his hometown of Chesterton. He obtained his real estate license and was a real estate broker for over thirty years. During this time, he opened and operated the Century 21 Hokanson Real Estate office in downtown Chesterton. The Porter County Board of Realtors honored him as its Realtor of the Year in 1990.
Rick was a generous giver of his time to the betterment of Chesterton and its residents. For many years he served as a member and past president of the Board of Trustees of the Westchester Public Library. Rick also devoted years of service to helping those in need through his continuous dedication as a board member and past president of the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry. The Duneland Chamber of Commerce, the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club, the Duneland Schools Vocational Trades Board, and the Duneland School Foundation also benefitted from Rick's years of volunteer service as a board member or past president.
During the course of his years of service, Rick was honored as the Citizen of the Year by the Duneland Chamber of Commerce and the Rotarian of the Year by the Chesterton Porter Rotary Club. He was also informally, with gentle teasing, named by his friends as the person whose photograph appeared most often in the Chesterton Tribune newspaper. In a subsequent article, this was reported by the Tribune along with yet another photograph.
Rick grew up in what is now Burns Harbor, Indiana, in a two-story remodeled farm home on five acres of land with a big red barn. He and his sister had horses, a collie dog, and a long line of cats. Riding the horses through the dunes (before Bethlehem Steel) with his sister was a favorite pastime in his childhood. Later as an adult he, Carol and their sons were camping enthusiasts and frequent visitors to Indiana's various state parks. Rick always enjoyed an evening sitting around a campfire with family and friends. This is when his wonderful sense of humor and storytelling abilities were at their best. Family and community were the most important things in Rick's life. He will be lovingly remembered by his family and missed by his many friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held on August 19, 2023 at 10 a.m. at the Chesterton United Methodist Church. Memorial donations may be made to the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry or the Westchester Township Library.
Arrangements are under the care of White-Love Funeral Home, Chesterton.