Richard Earl Bakken Jr, 69, of rural Genoa, was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior on June 10, 2022.
Dick was born in La Crosse, WI, on May 10, 1953, to Richard and Donna (Gerth) Bakken. He became a child of God through Holy Baptism on May 31, 1953, at St. Peter’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Chaseburg, and was confirmed on June 11, 1967, at St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Stoddard.
His early schooling took place at DeSoto Area schools. He graduated from Onalaska Luther High School in 1971 and received his Bachelor of Science degree in education from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, in 1976.
Richard married Irene Meyer on June 20, 1976, in Iron Ridge, WI.
Richard was called as a staff minister to Zebaoth Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, and also to teach upper grades at Siloah Lutheran School in Milwaukee. He was blessed to serve his Lord and share God’s grace with students at St. John’s Lutheran School in Mishicot; Trinity Lutheran School and to begin Illinois Lutheran High School in Crete, IL; St. Paul Ev. Lutheran School in Tomah; and St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran School in Bangor. Richard was involved in music at most of his call locations including playing organ for church services, directing church choirs, and directing handbell choirs. He especially enjoyed taking his high school choirs to WELS choral fests across the country. He also loved playing the accordion.
Richard loved spending time with his family, especially with his grandchildren. He loved fishing and snowmobiling in the northwoods, hunting on his land with his boys as well as hunting with his extended family near Baraboo, watching Packer games, gardening, and finding a great fish fry. He loved to travel and visit his children and grandchildren.
Richard is survived by his wife, Irene, of 45 years; son Richard (Heather) of Mountain View, CA; daughter Aleah (Adam) Friemark of Dale, WI; son Jonathan (Joy) of Minong, WI, and son Benjamin (Brooke) of Sparta, WI; grandchildren Jack, Laura, and Tom Friemark; Rose and Ava Bakken; and Silas, Elias, and Micah Bakken.
Also surviving Richard is his sibling James (Debra) Bakken (children Jeremy and Donna) and many loving relatives and friends. He is preceded into heaven by his parents.
The family would like to thank the Gunderson Lutheran ALS Clinic Group, the helpful people at NuMotion, the La Crosse area ALS support group, Apria, the ADRC of Vernon County, the ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter, and neighbors on the ridge.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday June 16 at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Bangor. Pastor Brock Groth and Pastor Robert Pasbrig will officiate. A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday June 15 at the Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley, and at the church on Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. prior to the service. Condolences may be given at selandsfuneralhome.com.
Memorials can be made in the name of Richard Bakken to the ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter and WELS Central Africa Medical Mission.