ATHENS, GA (July 9, 2016) - Cletus Marcel (Pete) Hohn was born on Christmas Day, 1927, and died on the Fourth of July, 2016, at Lakeside Oasis Hospice in Buffalo, Minnesota.
Hohn was born at his family home just one block from the Mississippi River in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, the youngest of six children of John and Augusta (Mavencamp) Hohn. His father died when he was 11 years old. His mother then opened a café in Sauk Rapids, and Hohn at a young age was thrust into many roles in helping his mother run and manage the cafe.
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps the day after he graduated from Sauk Rapids High School in 1945. The trip by troop train to Camp Pendleton in California was his first trip outside of Minnesota. Shortly after completing basic training, he was shipped to fight in the Pacific with the 1st Marine Airwing. His service in the Pacific included serving in Guam and an extensive tour in China after the war ended.
Hohn used the GI Bill to attend St. Cloud State University for two years before transferring to the University of Minnesota. He graduated from Minnesota where he became the first journalism graduate from the U of M to major in photography.
Hohn started what would become an award-winning career in photojournalism at the Rochester Post-Bulletin. Two years later, after winning many Associated Press regional news photos award, he was hired by the Minneapolis Tribune (now the Star Tribune). He worked for 27 years as a photographer and covered many events and people during this time. In 1963 one of his pictures was chosen Picture of the Year by a national news organization.
His photos captured many events and people of the Minnesota scene until his retirement in 1982. Politicians captured by his lens included Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, and every governor of the state of Minnesota during his tenure. Other famous notables he photographed included Elvis, Jack Benny, Louis Armstrong, Dolly Parton, and the King of Sweden.
For seven consecutive years during the 1970s, Hohn's sports photography appeared in the National Publication “Best Sports Stories of the Year.” He captured many Minnesota sports highlights over the years including Rod Carew’s record setting seventh steal of home plate and Harmon Killebrew’s 500th home run, and soccer great Pele playing in Minnesota during the Minnesota’s Kicks inaugural season. Pete was proud of his history of covering Minnesota prep sports during his career, and he displayed many of these pictures on the walls of his home. He was noted as one of the first photographers to cover women high school sports in Minnesota.
Hohn was a mentor to many young photographers at the Tribune. Pete’s life of photography was featured in an exhibition at the Northup King Building in February 2014.
Hohn met his first wife, Lila Brown, while working for the Rochester Post-Bulletin. They had a son, Michael, born in 1955. Their son suffered an accidental fall at the age of one and was a quadriplegic until his death at age 16. Hohn worked the night shift at the paper during these years so that he could care for his son and his wife Lila, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Hohn met his second wife, Marilyn Hoegemeyer, at the Tribune and they were married in 1986. Pete retired to a cabin he designed on Fish Trap Lake in Morrison County (north of Little Falls) and lived there until 2009, when he and Marilyn moved to Buffalo. His move to Buffalo was made easier, Pete used to say, because in his 20-plus years on Fish Trap Lake, he “fished out all the walleye.”
Hohn was proud of his Marine service and was a lifelong member of the Marine Corps League Vallhala Division. He was a member of the Sauk Rapids and Buffalo American Legion throughout his adult life.
Hohn is survived by his wife, Marilyn Hoegemeyer, and her two sons and their families: Stephan Becerra (Virginia Cabezas) of Omaha, and Josh Becerra (Sonia Ellis) of St. Paul and grandchildren Sebastian, Salvador, Maggie, Isabella and Angelina.
Hohn was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Doloris (Hohn) Michalicek and his brothers Henry, John, Wilfred and Leo.
A celebration of Hohn's life will be held at 2 p.m., August 5, at the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery, Camp Ripley, Minnesota. His final resting site, like his birth site, will be one block from the Mississippi River.
Memorials preferred to Lakeside Oasis of Buffalo, the Arthritis Foundation, or Park Terrace Assisted Living in Buffalo.