Charlotte Hoecker shared her love of ice skating with students from Wausau
Charlotte Hoecker will be remembered on Saturday as an ice skating dynamo who shared her passion for the sport with the Wausau region for over 30 years.
Hoecker died on September 15 after suffering from various illnesses, including a lump in her lungs and kidney failure, according to her daughter, Marian Hoecker-Hahn. Hoecker was 92 years old.
His memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 330 McClellan Street. A visit will take place from noon to 1 p.m.
Hoecker was married to Raymond Hoecker and they had four children. Before moving to Wausau in 1979, the family lived in Illinois, Texas, and Maine.
Hoecker grew up in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, and his father, who played hockey for Northwestern University, first taught him to skate at age 4. She immediately liked the sport, and it never wavered. She taught skating in Wausau for 30 years, but couldn’t exactly explain her love of skating when a reporter from the Wausau Daily Herald interviewed her just before she turned 80.
“I just did it,” Hoecker said. “Skating is such a joy.”
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Hoecker did not contain his pleasure with ice skating at the rink. She wore skate earrings, skate necklaces and skate sweaters. She filled the walls by exhibiting her collection of old skates.
While her skating, especially after turning 80, raised her profile in the community, she was also active in many other areas of civic life. Hoecker was a singer and performed with the CenterStage Band and Show Choir, the Wausau Pro Musica, and the St. John’s Church Choir.
Hoecker delivered meals to the elderly and volunteered for the Wisconsin Special Olympics.
She also enjoyed golfing, skiing, sewing, cooking and taking aerobics classes, according to the obituary written by her children. “Most of these activities she continued to do even into her 90s,” one reads. “Those who have met her have often been struck by her quirky humor, zest for life and fiery wit.”
Hoecker has always had a creative mind, Hoecker-Hahn said. When she and her siblings were young, a family tradition was to participate in Halloween parades. Thanks to his parents, the children had elaborate costumes like dragons or skunks.
One year, Hoecker-Hahn remembers, his mother forgot about the parade. At the last minute, Ray and Charlotte arranged to make costumes for their four children so they could parade down the parade like old-fashioned paper dolls.
“They did it in a matter of hours,” Hoecker-Hahn said. “My mom came up with these ideas to do these things.”
The secret to it all, Hoecker told the Daily Herald in 2009, was to stay busy and keep moving.
“Energy creates energy,” Hoecker said.
Contact Keith Uhlig at 715-845-0651 or [email protected] Follow him on @UhligK on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook.