Bruce Jon Kokal, 70, of Deephaven, passed away peacefully at home on October 31, 2019, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
Preceded in death by parents Emily and Peter Kokal, and by brother Don Kokal. Survived by loving wife of 48 years, Diane, and beloved children Anna (Matt) Hoffman, Chris (Tiffany) Kokal, and Ashley (Brendan) McCarthy. “Papa” will live on in the hearts of his cherished grandchildren Marcella, Scarlett, Henry, Marielle, Alex, Ainsleigh, and Renner Jon. Also survived by five sisters and brothers, Delores (Bob), Rich, DeeAnn (Ralph), Peter, and Rose (Bob), and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bruce was born in Eveleth, Minnesota and grew up across the street from the renowned Hippodrome, thus beginning his love of hockey. He played youth hockey, coached by some of the hockey greats, as well as high school, college, and Junior A. He then transferred his love of hockey to mentoring his children and grandchildren. Bruce was the ultimate father, always willing to drop everything for a pickup game of softball in the front yard and playing tennis or hockey with anyone wanting to play. His love of the North Shore and outdoors was shared with his wife and family. We all enjoyed his dry sense of humor and legendary knowledge of trivia. His support of Diane and his family was unconditional from the moment he and Diane started dating in high school until his passing on Halloween (his favorite holiday). A very special thank you to Park Nicollet hospice nurse Katie,
The Frauenshuh Cancer Center and Dr. Wadhwa, and to the Mayo Clinic team that helped him fight his cancer. A celebration of his life will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1 Lourdes Place, Minneapolis on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 2pm with visitation beginning at 1pm. There will be a reception after at the church. Memorials preferred to Catholic Charities or the Animal Humane Society.