Brian Hokkanen

Obituary of Brian William Hokkanen

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Brian William Hokkanen (age 38) passed from this life in Union, Kentucky on Friday August 18, 2023. He was a loving father, husband, son, brother, coworker and friend. Brian tragically lost his battle with mental illness, despite excellent medical care and unwavering support from his family and friends.

Brian was born on March 11, 1985, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in the nearby suburb of Andover, graduated from Anoka Senior High in 2003, and went on to attend North Dakota State University where he graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. After graduating he moved to Texas and started his 16-year career with Celanese as a process chemist, project manager and senior product specialist.

Brian married Ellen Mierzejewski in 2011. They first met at a wedding in North Dakota. They shared a love for chemistry, food and drink, and all things founded in data and reasoning. After a joyful wedding in February 2011 in Houston, Texas, Brian and Ellen headed to Yellowstone for their honeymoon. The traveling did not stop there. Brian and Ellen ventured across America visiting mountains and beaches, enjoying barbeque and libations along the way.

Brian and Ellen moved to Kentucky and welcomed their daughter Penelope (Penny) in 2017 and son Theodore (Theo) in 2019. Brian fondly shared with the kids his passions for inquisitiveness, compassion, amateur astronomy, and the essential childhood video game experiences of the Pokémon and Mario worlds. Brian was an avid sports fan, following his hometown Minnesota Twins, Vikings and Wild through thick and thin (especially thin). He had a passion for building computers and constructed a legendary local home-streaming network that rivaled the major streaming services. He enjoyed pheasant hunting in North Dakota, fishing with his dad, brothers and family friend Nick Wirtz, and camping with his family. He was an endlessly curious human, a simultaneous wilderness-seeker & technophile, and an exemplary father, husband, brother and son.

Brian is survived by his wife Ellen Hokkanen of Union, Kentucky, daughter Penelope Hokkanen (age 6), son Theodore Hokkanen (age 4); parents Bill and Cathy Hokkanen of Andover, Minnesota; brothers Paul Hokkanen of Hoffman Estates, Illinois and Adam Hokkanen of Charlotte, North Carolina; and numerous loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws. He was preceded in death by grandparents LaVerne and Edwin Hokkanen; grandparents Delores and Joseph Knapper; Uncles Edwin (Butch), John, and Alan Hokkanen; Aunts Cindy and Patty Knapper, Bertha Hokkanen, and Marilyn Hokkanen.

Brian will be remembered for his unyieldingly joyful personality, his love for his wife and children, and as a cherished older brother and eldest son to his immediate family.

Celebrations of Brian’s life will be held in both Kentucky and Minnesota.

Florence, KY visitation for Brian will be held on Thursday, August 24 from 5pm-8pm EDT at Chambers & Grubbs Funeral Home (8461 Dixie Hwy, Florence, KY 41042).

Funeral mass will be held at 10:30 am EDT on Friday, August 25 at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church (7301 Dixie Hwy, Florence, KY 41042). An off-site light reception will be held afterwards at 12pm EDT at Florence Lions Clubhouse (29 Lacresta Dr, Florence, KY 41042).

Brian will be transported to Minnesota for a Memorial Service in the Twin Cities next week for family, friends and colleagues unable to travel to Kentucky this week. He will be buried in Minnesota along with his grandparents, great grandparents and members of his extended family. 

Brian Hokkanen Memorial Mass for the Dead and Burial Rite in Minnesota

11:00 am CDT on Thursday, August 31

St. Patrick Catholic Church

19921 Nightingale St NW

Oak Grove, MN 55011

Burial Rites to immediately follow mass at adjacent St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery

In lieu of flowers, a Memorial Fund has been established for Brian and Ellen’s children, Penny and Theo, in care of Chambers and Grubbs Funeral Home. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Brian Hokkanen, please visit Tribute Store

Gathering of Friends

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Chambers & Grubbs Funeral Home - Florence Location
8461 Dixie Highway
Florence, Kentucky, United States
(859) 344-5000

Memorial Mass

10:30 am
Friday, August 25, 2023
St. Paul Parish
7301 Dixie Hwy
Florence, Kentucky, United States
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Brian Hokkanen

In Loving Memory

Brian Hokkanen

1985 - 2023

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