Welcome to the memorial page for

Michael Allan Hojnacke

June 25, 1960 ~ November 24, 2017 (age 57)

Beloved Maple Lake math teacher, Michael “Mr. H” Hojnacke, age 57, of Maple Lake, MN and Madison, SD, died November 24, 2017 after a courageous battle with cancer.

“I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith,” 2 Timothy 4:7.

A memorial service will be held 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 1, 2017 in the Maple Lake High School gymnasium with Pastor Culynn Curtis officianting. Music will be provided by the Maple Lake High School Mixed Choir under the direction of Ms. Sue Nelson. The urn bearers will be Sam, Jake and Zack Schaunaman, Mikayla and Mitchell Koss. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 9, 2017 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Madison, SD. Burial will be in St. Ottos Cemetery in Webster, SD. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Maple Lake High School.

Michael Allan Hojnacke was born June 25, 1960 in Webster, SD to David and Genevieve (Rumpca) Hojnacke. Growing up in Webster, Mike served as an altar boy at Christ the King Catholic Church and was active in Boy Scouts and 4-H.  During high school, he played football and ran track for the Webster Bearcats. Mike graduated from Webster High School in 1979. Mike took a break from college and moved to Stillwater OK, in June of 1982, where he worked at a steak house for his brother-in-law, Gary. In September, he became an asst manager in Ardmore OK when they opened a second steak house.  In 1986, he moved back to SD to attend Dakota State University. He graduated from Dakota State University in 1993 with a degree in mathematics education and earned his master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s University in 2003. In addition to his love of teaching, Mike also loved the outdoors and spent many hours pheasant hunting, fishing, camping and atv trail riding with family and friends and his beloved dogs Chance and Charlie.

Mike was hired as a mathematics and physics teacher at Maple Lake High School on June 13, 1993, and was currently in his 25th year with District 881. He became affectionately known as “Mr. H” or just “H” to his students, coworkers and friends. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. H coached a variety of activities for the school including football, basketball, and was a current coach for the trap team. He was a co-prom advisor where he worked side-by-side with students to create elaborate backdrops and decorations. Mr. H was the first teacher to arrive in the morning and the last to leave in the evening, always telling students that he would be there as long as they needed him. For Mr. H, teaching was not just his career, it was his lifestyle. He loved his job and was passionate about teaching. H always had a bounce to his step, a smile on his face, and an infectious laugh. Mr. H was a super fan for all Maple Lake activities. Students could always count on H being in the stands, cheering them on. He built strong, positive, professional relationships with all of his students over the years. He was an excellent teacher who was extremely dedicated to every student. It did not matter if it was before or after school, during his lunch break or his prep hour, kids were with Mr. H getting help on their math or simply enjoying his company. He would often times take out the cribbage board and challenge his students to a game. He will always be remembered for bringing donuts to his students, as well as having snacks and beverages for anyone that needed them. Former graduates would often stop back at MLHS to visit Mr. H. It is not uncommon to hear past students say that they went into education because of Mr. H. Many of his co-workers referred to him as a friend, mentor and an example of the teacher they wished to become. H was honored by his colleagues by being selected to receive the Leadership in Educational Excellence Award on three separate occasions: in 2000, 2012, and 2017. Mr. H was loved by his students. Countless times over his years at MLHS, Mr. H was chosen as a student’s guest at the Students of Excellence banquet. He was nominated and selected as the winner of the Barnes and Noble My Favorite Teacher Award for central Minnesota in the spring of 2017. Mr. H’s impact on students and staff at Maple Lake High School, as well as the Maple Lake community is immeasurable.

Mike was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. His hope and optimism for recovery never wavered. Mr. H wanted nothing more than to return to his classroom. He missed his students, his colleagues and his community.

Mike is survived by his mother Gen Hojnacke of Madison, SD; brothers and sisters Wayne Hojnacke of Appleton, WI, Kathy (Gary) Tatum of Kansas City, MO, Lori (Rich) Licht of Minneapolis, MN, Gaye (Mike) Kruchten of Elk River, Barbara (Mark) Kramer of Tonganoxie, KS, Mark (Amie) Hojnacke of Frederick, MD, Robin (Terry) Jacobson of Chino Valley, AZ, John (Melissa) Hojnacke of Omaha, NE, Denise (Paul) Ebmeier of Gretna, NE and Kari (Rob) Sckerl of Cedar Falls, IA; sister-in-law Kim Hojnacke of Appleton, WI; nieces and nephews Aaron (Kristy), Kevin, Marissa, Erik, Tom (Darla), Brandy (Steve), Kristen (Scott), John, Adam, Mathew, Bobby (Melissa), Jesse, Jason (Tana), Jacob, Rylee, Tatum, Jed, David, Shawn, Haley, Joe, Kate, Mallorie and Easton; great nieces and great nephews Talia, Henry, Kai, Meg, Nick, Bre and Jaeger; special friends Tom & Cheryl Seitz, Dave Hansen and Suzee Schaunaman, Donna Wurm, Marty Kiebel, Mike and Michelle Koss, Tim Knudsen and Ben Youngs; his Maple Lake High School community and many friends. He is preceded in death by his father David Hojnacke; and grandparents Veronica and Paul Rumpca, and John and Theresa Hojnacke.

Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Maple Lake.

 Service Information

Memorial Service
December 1, 2017

7:00 PM
Maple Lake High School
200 Highway 55 E
Maple Lake, MN 55358

Mass of Christian Burial
December 9, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
217 4th St NW, Madison, SD 57042
Madison, SD 57042

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