Raymond passed away at the Thief River Care Center on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 at the age of 93 years, 6 months and 10 days. May his memory be blessed.
Funeral service will be held Friday, March 1, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Grace Lutheran Church in Grygla, MN with Reverend Jeffery Merseth Officiating. Burial will be held at St. Olaf Cemetery near Grygla, MN later in the spring.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, 5 – 8 PM with a 7:00 prayer service at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN and also one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church.
Raymond Joseph Bakken was born August 16th, 1925 at his childhood home in Valley Township, the 3rd son of Hazel (Hanson) and Hjalmer Bakken. At the age of 2 he moved to Pinewood with his family. He returned to Grygla at the age of 6. He attended grade school at the Edgewood school near the Hook farm and Goodridge High School, graduating in 1943. He farmed with his mother from an early age. On June 6th, 1948 he was united in marriage to Blanche Ione Howland at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of rural Grygla. To this union, 9 children were born.
Ray farmed nearly all his life raising dairy cattle, small grains and hay, and later beef cattle. To supplement his income he worked for Gladden in the woods, worked in the potato fields in the fall, worked on the construction of the Grygla School, brushed the river, worked for Arctic Cat for 14 years until they closed in 1980 and at Polaris for 10 years, besides milking cows daily. He especially enjoyed deer hunting. Ray and Blanche made their home at Grygla their entire married life until entering the Thief River Care Center in 2015.
Ray was baptized and confirmed as an adult on February 16th, 1958 and was a member of St. Petri Lutheran Church. He served in various offices and was janitor until the age of 80. He was also very involved in remodeling the interior of the church, though he didn’t consider himself a carpenter.
Ray is survived by his 6 children, Sandy (Wayne) Warne, Glenyce (Loren) Lusignan, both for Grygla, Roxane (Steve) Sorvig of St. Hilaire, Shelly (Wes) Swanson of Berthoud, Colorado, Scott Bakken (friend Lori Flynn) of Grygla, and Ryan Bakken of East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Also surviving are 19 grandchildren, Jason (Christy) Warne, Denton (Jamie) Warne, Kelsey (Ben) Hest, Brent (Sara) Lusignan, Karla (Brent) King, Kyle (Basia) Lusignan, Aaron (Kristin) Sorvig, Nate (Lisa) Sorvig, Tyson (Cheyenne) Sorvig, Keenan Sorvig, Heather (Josh) Britton, Stacy (Steve) Stull, Bethany (Kevin) Ingram, McKenzie (Brock) Olson, Madison and Maci Bakken, Kaitlyn, Jennica and Baylor Bakken and 24 great grandchildren. Also surviving are sisters-in-law Myrtle Bakken of Redding, California and Doris Cleven of Warroad, Oral and Barb Howland of International Falls, and Lynette and Thad Ashton of Cypress, California. Also surviving is Don Harbott, Ray’s close personal friend and guardian angel.
He is preceded in death by his wife Blanche in 2017, sons Dale, Rocky and Timothy, Brothers Wesley and Bernard Bakken, grandsons Darren and Travis Warne, sisters-in-law Marian Harris and Carol Howland, bothers-in-law John Harris, Vernon Howland and Harlan Cleven, father and mother Hjalmer and Hazel Bakken and father and mother-in-law Oliver and Serine Howland.