Cover photo for Lillian "Holly" Irene Hakkinen's Obituary
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Lillian "Holly" Irene Hakkinen

May 2, 1922 — May 17, 2023

Orono, MN

Lillian "Holly" Irene Hakkinen


Holly Hakkinen spent all her 101 years and 15 days with a loving heart and a twinkle in her eye. Mother of five, grandmother to nine, and great-grandmother to 15, Lillian "Holly" Irene Hakkinen, nee Holechek, departed on May 17, 2023, at her residence in Orono, Minnesota.


Born May 2, 1922, in LaMoure, North Dakota, Holly was a farm girl at heart. After completing high school at Grand Rapids High School, Holly earned a teaching certificate from Ellendale College, after which she taught first through eighth grades in a one-room schoolhouse. She bravely left in October 1943 to support World War II efforts as a WAVE in the U.S. Navy. Stationed in San Diego, California, she performed inventory on ships as they returned from sea. She was honorably discharged in March 1946. 


Through her service, she met Reino Hakkinen on a train while both were returning home on leave. Holly and Ray wed in 1946 on her birthday and raised their five children in Superior, Wisconsin, before settling in North St. Paul, Minnesota.  The pair moved to Stillwater, Minnesota in 1977, where Holly lived for 35 years. She lived simply and savored life's small pleasures: gardening, long walks with the dog, camping trips, cribbage matches, and visiting with friends and family. Most of all, doting on her grandchildren, in whom she found not a single flaw. 


She spent her final years at Trails of Orono, where residents and staff found her as utterly lovely as everyone else who knew her. She relished the sun's warmth on her face and a hot cup of tea on a cold day. She was generous, peaceable, and fair, and beloved for her gentle spirit. 


Her memory will live on in the brilliant sighting of a goldfinch, the scent of cinnamon rolls rising in the oven, and retellings of her upbringing during the Great Depression.


Holly was predeceased by her parents and siblings, son Kim, and husband Reino. She is survived by daughters Linda (Jim, deceased) Dewall, Laura (John) Silbaugh, and Lisa (Randy) Hemmer and son Gary (Jeanne Benik) Hakkinen, along with her nine grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. 


Services will be held on Thursday, July 27, 2023 at Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel (One Tower Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55450) at 10:00 a.m., butterfly release at Assembly Area 3 at Fort Snelling National Cemetery (7601 - 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55450) at 12:15 p.m., committal service at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at 1:00 p.m., and reception at Mendakota Country Club (2075 Mendakota Dr, Mendota Heights, MN 55120) at 1:30 p.m.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lillian "Holly" Irene Hakkinen, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, July 27, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel

1 Tower Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55450

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Graveside Service

Thursday, July 27, 2023

12:45 - 1:15 pm (Central time)

Fort Snelling National Cemetery

7601 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55450

Gather at Assembly Area 3#
Butterfly release to follow Military Honors at 1:00 PM

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, July 27, 2023

1:30 - 3:30 pm (Central time)


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