Whitehorse Daily Star

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Wayne Alfred Hoganson was born on March 19,1948 in North Battleford, SK. He grew up playing baseball, football, and hockey. He and his brother Dale played junior hockey for several years in Estevan, SK where they were billeted each season.

In 1968, the Estevan Bruins won the Abbott Cup in the Western Canada Junior Hockey League. They beat the Flin Flon Bombers 4-0 in the finals against future NHL legends, Bobby Clark and Reggie Leach. Estevan then went on to play in the Memorial Cup against the winners of the Eastern Division, the Niagara Falls Fliers. Since both teams were farm teams for the Boston Bruins, there was a big “discussion” about which team would wear the Boston sponsored uniforms in the best of 7 play off. The games were played in the Niagara Falls Arena, and game 2 in the Montreal Forum. Estevan got to use Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto for practice. Estevan lost the series, but it was an experience of a lifetime! (Thanks Bob Allison)

For the 1968-69 season, Wayne chose to follow his coach Scottie Munro and play for the Calgary Centennials. The next season he was invited to play for the Johnstown Jets of the Eastern Hockey League in the US. The team was bussed up and down the East coast with all the experiences that entailed which gave Wayne great stories.

In the off-season from hockey, Wayne spent the time working in Whitehorse because his sister Doreen had moved there to teach, then marry Jack Kreitzer. Eventually in 1970, White Pass Yukon Route offered Wayne a good job, as they often did with the really good hockey players. He worked in the Tires, Batteries, and Accessories Dept. for years, followed by an Operation Manager Job at the Esso Petroleum Plant for Mike Hogan and later for Gerald Mitchell. (Thanks Craig Tuton)

Wayne remembered everyone he met as well as the lodge owners along the Alaska Highway as he often rode with the Esso tanker drivers as they made their deliveries so he could provide better service.

Wayne enjoyed Whitehorse and he was an avid golfer, hockey and fastball player. He was very competitive! He made many friends and soon met a young teacher, Nedien Lewko at the bowling alley. They married that December of 1970. Nedien was teaching at the new Jack Hulland School where she spent her whole career.

Wayne and Nedien dedicated much of their time to community work. Wayne was president of the Lion’s Club while Nedien was a charter member of the Lioness Club. He had many stories about maintaining a trap line with Jack Kreitzer, tall tales about fishing with Jack, and competing and winning the annual Tagish fishing derby. Wayne told everyone that if there was a fire at the cabin, “Grab the trophy fish off the wall first!”

Both Nedien and Wayne participated in sports. Wayne volunteered to coach junior hockey for various teams and also helped the figure skating organization. While Nedien was involved with curling, Wayne continued to play hockey and had the opportunity to captain the Yukon Hockey team in the 1972 Arctic Winter Games. The Yukon defeated Alaska 11-7 to clinch the Arctic Winter Games grand aggregate and win the Gold Ulu for the Yukon. (Thanks Howie Firth)

Baseball was another sport Wayne loved. In 1973, Wayne was the Senior Men’s Fastball League’s batting champion with a .467 average. He played first base for the Carling Kings, who were first in the league that season. Wayne also tied with Bill Kerr of the Old Stylers for the home run title. In 1975, Wayne was a player/coach for the Yukon Men’s Allstar Softball team that went to the Canadian Championships in Oshawa, Ontario. Wayne was looking forward to game 2 of the round-tournament. This game was to be against the North Battleford Merchants, Wayne’s former team from his hometown and his friend and former teammate, Mel Saranchuk. The Yukon held a 1-0 lead for 5 innings. Whenever Wayne came up to bat they walked him. According to Wayne, he wasn’t frustrated since to him it was a sign of respect. Eventually the Merchants took a 5-1 lead and held it to win. (Thanks Doug Solonick and George Arcand)

In 1975 Wayne and Nedien started a family, having a son Terry and a daughter Marlee in 1976. They found a great property on California Beach at Tagish Lake and spent their summers developing the property around the small cabin. Wayne made a hockey rink for winter fun and eventually a 9-hole mini golf course for the summer. Nedien would bring her school class to Tagish for camping experiences near the end of the school year. Everyone knew how wonderful it was to visit the Hoganson’s Tagish property.

Continuing his love of hockey, Wayne and Doug Graham ran the Commercial Hockey League for about 6 years. Doug was the one who got Wayne to become a referee. Wayne’s body was hurting from his hockey and ball days and even with back surgery his back was giving out. Wayne started reffing so he could stay connected with hockey. Wayne got lots of enjoyment sending offenders to the penalty box! (Thanks Doug Graham)

“Hogie”, as he was affectionately known, was instrumental, along with his friend Hank Karr, in putting the Whitehorse Oldtimer’s Hockey League on a solid foundation that remains today. Wayne played and refereed in the league for about 15 years beginning in the 1990s and was League president for most of that time period. To acknowledge his exemplary service, the League initiated a Hogie Award in 2015 that is presented annually to a player who has performed long-time service to the League, and it is a highly regarded trophy. Wayne left his stamp on the League, and he will be greatly missed by those who were fortunate enough to be involved with him in his Oldtimer’s career. (Thanks, Bernie Adilman)

After his wife Nedien died in 2009, Wayne joined his brother Dale as a snowbird at Palm Creek Resort in Casa Grande, AZ. In 2011, he met Jane Shaver at Palm Creek and they eventually married in the Yukon at Tagish. They have enjoyed the last 10 years hiking, and exploring Arizona and the US for 6 months in the winters. Wayne walked daily with a group of friends and also hiked with them each week. He also managed and played softball joining his old friend Mel Saranchuk. He will be greatly missed by friends from all over Canada and the US that he met through softball, hiking, the hot tub, or on Fred’s Deck in Arizona.

Every summer Wayne and Jane returned to the Tagish cabin for 6 months to enjoy their Yukon friends, garden, play mini-golf, host family visits, and cook burgers every Canada Day for the Tagish Community. Wayne was always a good neighbor and helped friends with many projects. He was the beach master as he cleaned, raked, and dragged the beach. He took his place as a carpenter with Al Loewen when Al’s partner Dale Perry died. They built a house on the Hot Springs Road, one in Spruce Hills for Rod and Tammy, and a garage for Lynn Penner. (Thanks Al and Tagish friends)

Above all, Wayne loved the Yukon. He was generous to his family, friends and the community. He was kind and compassionate. He had a great sense of humor and as his friends know, very strong opinions.

Rest in peace Wayne. “You went through Hell to get to Heaven but Heaven’s where you go after Yukon” (Hank Karr)

Wayne is preceded in death by his wife Nedien, sister Doreen and her husband, Jack Kreitzer. He will be greatly missed by his wife Jane Hoganson, stepdaughter Gwen Bradley (Mike) and granddaughter Gillian of Salt Lake City. He will also be missed by his brother Dale Hoganson, (Mardelle) and children Britney, Cheryl, and Franklin in North Battleford, SK; his brother Elwin and family in Septer, SK, and sister Shirley in Courtney, BC. He will be missed by son Terry Hoganson (Janice), granddaughters Annika and Grace of Lacombe, AB; and his daughter Marlee Hoganson and grandson Tyler in Calgary, and Doreen Kreitzer's children and their families; Cathy Johnson (Brad) in Whitehorse, Shayne Kreitzer (Katherine) in Regina, and Kim Rodriguez (Russ) in Comox. The family is looking at a celebration of life ceremony later in the summer.

Comments (3)

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Tom Bovill on Jun 16, 2021 at 9:43 am

Sorry to hear about Wayne. I worked at Cole Petroleum too and spent many years playing old timers hockey with Wayne. We became very good friends with Wayne and Nedien spending many happy times together. I learned a lot about the Yukon from Wayne and will always treasure those memories.

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Leo Prefontaine on Jun 12, 2021 at 7:05 pm

I got to know Wayne at Palm Creek through softball.. .he was a good, honest and like Fred said a well respected player and coach...I also went golfing weekly with Wayne, Ron and Hugh... we were all lefties, none of us were any good but we really had fun! I will certainly miss you Wayne...love ya... our condolences to Jane, Dale and all the family....Leo and Jocelyne

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Fred Shaffer on Jun 8, 2021 at 10:29 am

I am Fred of "Fred's deck" Wayne was heavily involved in slow pitch softball at Palm Creek. After couple of years of playing, mostly second base Wayne pursued his coaching experience, coaching one of our teams. Wayne was well respected in Palm Creek and will be sorely missed. I take full responsibility for introducing Wayne to Jane. Evelyn and I will forever miss you buddy and forever love you.

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