Clarification: The Memorial Service for Kristian Bakke will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at Havre's Rotary Park, behind Messiah Lutheran Church — 417 20th Street, Havre — not in Beaver Creek Park. The family apologizes for any confusion.
Kristian Severt Bakke, 45, of Havre, died Monday, Aug. 11, 2013, in his home of a heart attack.
His memorial service will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the Havre Rotary Park between 19th and 20th streets with Brian Barrows officiating. A fellowship luncheon will be held at the Messiah Lutheran Church immediately after the services. A private family interment will be held at a later date. Memorials in Kris’ honor may be made to HARP (for the Havre Parks), P.O. Box 231, Havre, MT 59501. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.
Kris was born May 6, 1968, to Kristian and Edith Bakke in Livingston, Mont. Kris, in his younger years, was fondly known as “Fella” or “Krissie” to his sisters, family and friends. He was a little fart.
Although quiet-natured, his mind was always at work and his hands busy repairing things that where already fixed and working his snow removal and lawn mowing routes. With the help of his three older sisters, a fort was forged in the summers and the adventures ensued. The outdoors was his first love, including camping in Paradise Valley, and the cousins horsing around the campfire at night where many injuries were inflicted playing snipe hunting; fishing his favorite spot at Fleshmen Creek; and hunting in the hills of “where his uncles went, and it’s A BIG Secret.”
In 1981, the family moved to Havre, Mont ., where he completed his schooling and graduated in 1987. Eager to keep his hands busy, Kris started working for Rasmussen Janitorial and Havre Rental. His baby sister, Bethany, was born and gave Kris a taste of his future. She was taken with her big brother who was, in her eyes, dashing and admirable. She was not the only one who saw his kind heart.
Burt Unruh, the superintendent of the city parks, watched and grew to know Kris through business dealings with the rental company. Burt saw loneliness in his eyes and took him under his wings. By the end of that summer Burt offered Kris a full-time position with the city parks where he had continued to work. The loneliness was from his dad’s death, and the work did him good. He was able to fix and make things beautiful, one of his many passions.
And then … as all good stories go Kris found something he didn’t have to fix and that was already beautiful. Kris came in from a morning of fishing and saw her … DaNelle was cooking at a tavern grill in Kremlin for the summer. Blackie will tell you to this day Kris asked who that girl was. And then said: “I’m going to marry her some day.” And after a few “Kris dates” and a ring sale, they were in fact married, Aug. 4, 1990, in Pepin Park in Havre. It was a love that many say they have never seen before. And then followed the three prides and joys of his life. Kelsey Ann, Michael Kristian and Ryan Kenneth.
The journey wasn’t always easy, such as the times through DaNelle’s illness, but Kris was the family’s rock. He took care of her, and was right by her side through it all. Their love only grew stronger with every passing day.
One of Kris’s many “ventures” came to be in 2006 — Evergreen Sprinklers and Landscaping. With his right hand man Joe at the helm along with his crews, he set to work making his dreams a reality. The little industrious boy had grown up to be the industrious man we had all come to know and love.
The boys where looking forward to the big hunt this fall. Michael recalls his dad teaching him how to shoot the .223. They would go out and shoot 100 rounds every day for the summer. Ryan always looked forward to the Sunday drive … just heading north and looking at creation. Kelsey will never forget going out after bad storms and finding night crawlers. She says, “He taught me what a real man was, and that I never have to settle for anything less.” They will always be his Sissy (Kelsey), Irvin (Michael) and Fred (Ryan) and him their ol’ pa. DaNelle will always remember him as her protector. They never had to worry or go without. There was not a day DaNelle would leave for school that Kris wouldn’t tell her she was beautiful. They still went on date night once a month. She looked forward to Kris getting cleaned up and smelling good, "He was a good looking guy.” He was the love of their lives.
He had deep affection for all of his in-laws, nephews and nieces, also all of his wonderful friends. He was especially fond of his “Patch” (Noah). He touched everyone’s lives with his laughter and smile, and he helped all of us underdogs. He leaves his print in our memories and on all things he fixed and made beautiful. Dearly loved as a son, brother, husband, dad and friend. Kris loved life and had love for people. Although he has fallen asleep in death, with our hope of the resurrection, we will welcome him back from the grave to a restored paradise earth. Until then he will be dearly missed by all of us.
Kris is survived by: DaNelle Rae, Kelsey Ann, Michael Kristian and Ryan Kenneth Bakke of Havre; parents, Neil and Edith Coffman Great Falls, Mont .; siblings, Dorothy (Dave) Baggett of Kalispell, Mont ., Judy (Dave) Burns of Kalispell, Tina (Greg) Tishmack of Bismark N.D., Bethany (Seth) Miccarelli of Duvall Wash..
Kris is preceded in death by his sister, Nancy Bakke; his father, Kristian Bakke; grandparents; and faithful dog, Sadie.