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Woman who served in Canadian Army in Second World War passes away at 99

Annie (Mary) Hokonson was a familiar face at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph in New Westminster
Mary Hokonson
Annie (Mary) Hokonson served in the Canadian Women's Army Corps in the Second World War attended many Remembrance Day services in New Westminster.

A woman who made her presence felt at New Westminster’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony has passed away at the age of 99.

Annie (Mary) Hokonson, of Vancouver, passed away peacefully on Sept. 18. Born in Vancouver in 1923, she joined the Canadian Army in 1942 at the age of 19.

“By 21 she was on one of the first troop ships to arrive in Thames harbour, England. Her ship was anchored in the harbour during the London bombing,” said an obituary. “Blessed with a defiant and ‘let's get on with it’ attitude, she complained she didn't spend 21 days on a boat only to get blown up in a harbour.”

From Aldershot, England, Hokonson went to Holland, shortly after D-Day. An obituary written by her nephew states that she made regular pilgrimages to Holland, especially for commemorative occasions, out of a deep respect for all that the people of Holland had endured during the war.

Hokonson, who served with the Canadian Women's Army Corps in the Second World War, attended the Remembrance Day ceremonies in New Westminster for many years, even though she lived in Vancouver.  She had some CWAC friends who lived in New West; when those women died and Hokonson stopped driving, their families would pick her up and bring her to the New Westminster cenotaph for the Remembrance Day service.

A service is being held on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. at Forest Lawn Funeral Home, 3789 Royal Oak Ave. in Burnaby. In lieu of flowers, people are asked to make donations to the Royal Canadian Legion.

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