Merl Leroy & Suzanne Jeanette (Kolberg) Hokenstrom, 89 and 86, died July 31, 2017, together at their home.
They were born in Red Wing, MN; Merl on July 10, 1928 and Sue on January 6, 1931. Graduating from Red Wing High School, they both spent their younger years in Red Wing where they met. Merl served his country honorably in the United States Army. Merl and Sue were married on June 14, 1952. Merl worked for Northern States Power (now Excel Energy) for 40 years, which is what brought them to Winona in 1965. Following his retirement, he drove bus for the Minnesota City Bus Company for almost 20 years. Sue worked for Winona Public Schools in the lunch line and as the substitute coordinator for district 861. If kids came through the line who didn't have enough money in their account to get lunch, she would pay for them without a second thought. She knew every kid who attended the Winona Middle School for many years. Sue worked until she was 80 years old, because she loved it so much.
Merl got his commercial pilots license when he was younger, beginning to fly at the age of 16. He had a passion for flying but never was able to talk Sue into getting off the ground. He also enjoyed gardening, building model planes, keeping his cars in pristine condition, and he was a collector of all things. Merl loved to run and ran many races, completing his final Twin Cities Marathon at the age of 70. Many mornings, he could be seen running around the lakes to get his training in.
Sue enjoyed cooking, baking (especially her famous frosted brownies), and making strawberry jam, but what she loved most was being a mom. That was until her grandkids came around, and then it was being a grandma. Sue could often be found walking her dog Missy around her neighborhood.
Merl and Sue shared a love for watching the Minnesota Twins with the TV sound off and the radio on. Their family was the absolute most important aspect of their life, and they would both do anything for their family. Spending time with their grandkids was a true source of happiness. They were faithful members of Central Lutheran Church for over 50 years, where they supported and participated in a variety of church groups and activities.
They are survived by two daughters, Karen Moon of Burns, Oregon and Nancy Flatten of Winona; son-in-law, Nathan Flatten of Winona; grandchildren, Jeanne (Tim) Smith, Chrissy Moon, Philip Flatten, Seth (Sara Meska-Flatten) Flatten, Hannah Flatten and Samuel Flatten; one great-grandson, Darin Smith; Sue's sisters, Dorothy Jagusch of Red Wing, Pat (Jerry) Borgen of Red Wing, Sandy Thompson of Collegeville, PA; Sue's brother, James Kolberg of Granada Hills, CA; Sue's sister-in-law, Marion Kolberg of Red Wing and many nieces and nephews.
They are preceded in death by Merl's parents, Swan and Edith Hokenstrom; Sue's parents, Almer and Edith Kolberg; Merl's sister, Hazel Weberg; Sue's brothers, Byron Kolberg and Thomas Kolberg; and Sue's sisters, Gwen Thomforde and Norma Thomforde.
Memorial Service will be 3 p.m., Sunday, August 6, 2017 at Central Lutheran Church with the Reverend Louise Stromberg officiating. Visitation will be 1 p.m., until the time of the service. Merl and Sue will be laid to rest in a private family service at St. Mary's Cemetery.
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