Photography

       


Lowell Edward Hokin

September 20, 1924 ~ September 6, 2018 (age 93)
Obituary Image

Lowell Edward Hokin, M.D. Ph.D., an internationally recognized biochemist, age 93, died on
Thursday, Sep. 6, 2018. Dr. Hokin was most well known for his discovery, along with Dr. Mabel Hokin, of
receptor-stimulated lipid turnover (the “Phosphoinositide Effect”) in the 1950s. This led to the understanding, years
later, of how hormones and neurotransmitters produce cell responses. Lowell went on to discover the fundamental
biochemical features of sodium-potassium ATPase, the enzyme that controls ion gradients and neuronal activity in
living cells, and he served as chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Wisconsin Medical
School in Madison from 1970 to his retirement to emeritus faculty in 1993. Lowell was born in 1924 in Peoria,
Illinois to Oscar E and Helen Gussie (Manfield) and went to Peoria High School. He started college at the
University of Chicago, but soon enlisted in the Navy V-12 Program to study medicine at Dartmouth. After the war
ended, he continued at the University of Louisville School of Medicine where he received his M.D., followed by a
residency at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. Lowell had always intended to pursue science, however, and soon
moved to Sheffield, England where he conducted his doctoral research in biochemistry under Sir Hans Krebs. It
was there that he met Mabel Neaverson, a graduate student in a nearby lab, and they continued as both research
partners and spouses at McGill University. Lowell obtained his faculty position at the University of Wisconsin in
1957. He enjoyed classical music and opera, fishing and alpine skiing, BBC television, and reading non-fiction and
medicine. Lowell and Mabel had three children, Linda, Catherine and Samuel, and Lowell had another son, Ian,
with his later wife Barbara (Gallagher). Lowell met his wife Dr. Vivian Littlefield in 2000 and they shared years of
adventures and happiness, moving to Parker, Colorado in 2016. Her care and love brought him great comfort in his
final days. He is survived by Vivian; sister Joyce and her husband George Sachs; brother Eugene and his wife
Janet; daughter Linda and her son Austen Hinkley; son Samuel and his wife Carla Shedivy and their children
Natalia and Mitchell; son Ian; Vivian’s daughter Virginia Littlefield and her husband and daughter Jode and
Clarissa Dieterle; Vivian’s son Darrell Littlefield and his wife Sue; Vivian’s brother Willard “Pete” Moore, sister
Cecile Settle, and their families; stepson Cregg Reuter and his wife Christine; stepdaughter Vicki Biondi and her
daughters Maria and Sophia. Donations in Dr. Hokin’s honor may be made to the Catherine Ester Hokin Memorial
Scholarship Fund, in care of the Madison Community Foundation (contact Harmony Kronick, (608) 232-1763,
hkronick@madisongives.org).

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