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1925 John 2017

John I. Bakken

December 25, 1925 — July 15, 2017

John I. Bakken age 91 of Detroit Lakes, MN died July 15, 2017 at Essentia Health – Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes, MN. John Irenez Bakken was born December 25, 1925 to Ole and Caroline (Johnson) Bakken on their farm in Rochert, MN. He walked 3 miles each way to attend District 77 Country School (the Moser School). As a young man, he worked on farms as far away as Hillsboro, ND, shocking grain. When his Dad became ill he took over the family farm. He cut and drug railroad car loads of pulp wood from areas around the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge with his swede saw and team of horses. In 1956 he started working for Tomlinson Lumber in Callaway, MN. He ran the shop that cut and crafted all their rafters and trusses. Ten years before they were married, he met his wife Elsie Janson at Comet Ski-Ways in Snellman, MN at a sledding party. They were married April 18, 1959 at the Mennonite Church near Strawberry Lake. John loved nature and loved to travel, so almost every year he would take the family on a car trip adventure that usually included visiting relatives and several national parks along the way. He would start planning the next trip as soon as we got home. He retired in 1985, when rheumatoid arthritis has taken a toll on his hands and feet. In 2009 they sold the family farm where he had lived his entire life. They moved into Lincoln Park Senior Apartments in Detroit Lakes. A bout of pneumonia in January put them both into Oak Crossing Nursing Home. John is survived by his wife, Elsie; son Dean (Molly Coskran), of Arden Hills, MN; daughter Diane (Steve) Guenther, of Waubun, MN; and two grandchildren, Erin Guenther, of Bemidji, MN, and Elizabeth Guenther, of Bemidji, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother; and two sisters, Gunda (Leo) Steen, and Fern (Ned) Larson.In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Egelund Church and Cemetery Fund.
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