Harry Edward Hodgkinson, age 92 ½ (you get half years when you are past 90), passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at Water’s Edge Care Center in Hayward, WI. He was born June 2, 1928 in Worthington, MN, the son of Edward and Joy (Tripp) Hodgkinson. This is also where he met the love of his life Loretta May Rogers. They were united in marriage on February 5, 1950 and spent 58 adventurous years together. After Loretta’s death in 2008, he was fortunate to have met Joanne Lamphear who became his loving companion.
Harry was born and raised in Worthington, MN, where he started school and attended continuously through Junior College. During high school, Harry worked at an airport and took flight lessons and was a drummer in the marching band. After marriage they started a long adventure and their family, first moving to Mankato, MN (Dana) then later Petoski, MI (Jake) where he worked as a Newspaper Circulation Manager, they then spent a short time in Kentucky. In the spring of 1955 Harry and Loretta drove to Fairbanks, Alaska with 2 small children and one on the way. There they spent 5 ½ years (Sandy and Vicki). In 1960 he moved his young family back and put down roots in St. James, Minnesota where they were long-time residents and where all 4 children graduated from High School. In St. James Harry ran the insurance agency for Farm Bureau. The past 36 years Hayward, Wisconsin became home. This is where he and Loretta owned and operated The Record Rack on main street. They also had a home in south Texas where they spent the winter out of the snow and cold of Wisconsin.
Family and friends were the central focus for Harry and the joy of his life. If you knew him, you know Harry was a salesman at heart and if you were his friend, you were a friend for life. When they drove back and forth between Wisconsin to Texas, they would plan their trips visiting family and friends along the way.
In his free time Harry was an avid golfer and loved to spend time on the water with his kids, spending many evenings and weekends launching the family boat and watching and teaching his kids and their friends how to water ski. He had unending patience circling and letting them try, time and time again until there was success and smiles all around. Summers meant a family vacation somewhere that involved water. He loved attending his kids’ events, sporting or otherwise and when the grandkids came along, he and Loretta would be front and center cheering them all on as well.
Dad had an infectious laugh, all you had to do is to walk into a crowded room and listen for that laugh and you would know he was nearby. He always had a story to tell or a joke to crack. He had a heart of gold and cared deeply about his loved ones. When you visited him, he had a bear hug and kind words for all those around him. In his backyard on the pond he would make sure all the birds, squirrels and deer were fed. As he got a bit older, he loved to watch all the animals scampering and fighting for his food.
Harry remained a spirited soul even after his hip fracture and in care at Waters Edge Care Center. One of his many escapades, much to the chagrin of his care givers, included figuring out how to dismantle the bed alarm system so he could take a late-night stroll unsupervised and without a walker.
So, Dad, Harry, Grandpa, Gramps, Hodge, Hodgie you will be deeply missed. We will rejoice in our memories and we know finally joining Mom is a dream come true. Enjoy your wings and bring laughter to all those angels in heaven as you did with everyone you touched during your long life.
He is survived by his children, Dana (Bill) Bates and Jake Hodgkinson of Hayward, WI, Sandy (Tom) Knickrehm of North Mankato, MN and Vicki Stiling of San Marcos, TX; his grandchildren, Nathan (Stacey) Knickrehm, Trina (Shawn) Sjostrom, Darcy (Casey) Coddington, Sadie (Brooke) Knickrehm, Jared (Billi) Knickrehm, Lee Hodgkinson, Garrett (Sarabeth) Remker, Calla Hodgkinson, Allie Knickrehm, Stevie Stiling, Tillie Stiling and Kylah (Zac) Eckes; fifteen great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild, Colton Knickrehm; his companion, JoAnne Lamphear; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends. In addition to his parents, Harry is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Loretta; his sister, Shirley (Robert) Henderson; a nephew, Bob Henderson and nine of Loretta’s Rogers siblings.
The family would like to give a special thank you to all the staff and caregivers at Waters Edge Care Center and Hayward Memorial Hospital for your love and care during Harry’s stay with you. You all are truly angels of God!
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on, Monday, January 18, 2021 at Hayward Funeral Home, 15571 W County Highway B in Hayward where visitation will be held at 10:00 A.M prior to the service. Interment will follow in Greenwood Cemetery in Hayward.
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