Donna Mae Bakken, 88, of La Crosse, went home to be with her Savior on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at the Bethany St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse. She was born November 7, 1930, to Albert and Edna (Oehrle) Gerth. She was baptized and confirmed at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Crosse. After her graduation from Central High School, Donna worked at the State Bank in La Crosse. In 1952, she married Richard Bakken at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Crosse. The couple farmed on the Bakken family farm near Genoa. They were blessed with two sons, Richard, Jr., and James. She was a long-time organist at St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Stoddard and also played at other Lutheran churches in the area. A lifelong lover of music, she was a skilled musician with talent in a number of musical instruments. In her retirement years, Donna worked at the grocery store in Chaseburg. She had a talent for creative stitchery and was best known for her knitted “footies.”
Survivors include sons, Richard, Jr. (Irene) of rural Genoa and James (Debra) of Saint Peter, MN; six grandchildren, Richard III (Heather), Aleah (Adam) Friemark, Jonathan (Joy), Benjamin (Brooke), Jeremy, and Donna; eight great-grandchildren, Jack, Laura, and Tommy Friemark, Rose, Ava, Silas, Elias, and Micah Bakken; and many nieces and nephews.
Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Dick, and her parents.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday April 26, 2019 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Crosse. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until service time at the church. Rev. Jonathan Rimmert will officiate with burial in Woodlawn Cemetery in La Crosse. Memorials may be given to Grace Lutheran Church or Luther High School. The Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley is assisting the family. Condolences may be given at selandsfuneralhome.com.
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