Sally Pierce Hokanson|
Sally Hokanson was a gifted gardener and a voracious reader who was devoted to her family, her friends and her church. Sadly, her enjoyment of life was interrupted by the onset of Alzheimer's disease twelve years ago. She died on April 15, 2014.
Sally was born on October 16, 1928 and grew up in the north end of Tacoma where many of her first friends remained dear friends for life. She cherished her memories of high school years at Annie Wright Seminary, where she graduated at the top of her class. Mills College offered her a full scholarship which took her to the San Francisco Bay Area. After two years, she moved to Seattle where she graduated with a degree in English from the University of Washington. About these years she wrote: "I learned that I wasn't meant to be a political activist, a party girl or a loyal sorority girl. I did figure out that I could write reasonably well and that literature was - and remains - my passion." Apparently she could indeed write well, because that year she was made associate editor of the society page of the Tacoma New Tribune.
In 1952 Sally met the love of her life on a blind date. She and Frederick Hokanson, who was then a deputy prosecuting attorney for the state of Washington, were married in April of 1953. They enjoyed a two-month long honeymoon which was the beginning of a lifetime of travel adventures together. Sally discovered the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the early years of their marriage. She became an enthusiastic supporter of that company, spending a week in Ashland every summer for about 25 years. She was a great lover of the spoken and written word, always fascinated by its meaning and impact. Sally was also an artist who worked beautiful miracles in her gardens, with her scrapbooks, her knitting needles and needlepoint canvases.
When Sally was at Annie Wright she enjoyed the daily chapel services and credited that experience with her devotion to the church. She was a devout Episcopalian, always active in her church communities: Christ Church in Tacoma and St. Mary's in Lakewood. Sally's passion for the garden led her to become president of the Tacoma Garden Club. She was also a member of The Aloha Club and of the Tacoma Junior League for over 20 years. Always very determined to keep active both mentally and physically, she studied yoga in the 60's, long before yoga was a household word, and was still going to aerobics classes three times a week when she was 78.
Sally will be remembered for her quick wit and sense of humor, her keen intellect, and her kindness and generosity. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Fred, her daughter Kate Hokanson and granddaughter Emma Schachter.
A celebration of her life will be held at Annie Wright School in Tacoma on Bloomsday, June 16th from 2-4pm in the Great Hall.
In lieu of flowers, please give generously to Alzheimer's Disease Research and to the
which offers so much support and guidance to so many people affected by this disease.
Sally's family wants to thank the amazing people at the Weatherly Inn who loved her and cared for her so tenderly for so many years, and Franciscan Hospice for helping to make her last days peaceful.
Published in The Seattle Times on Apr. 27, 2014