August 21, 2013 | Volume 100 / Number 341

Kristian Bakke

Kristian Severt Bakke, 45, of Havre, Mont., died Aug. 11, 2013, in his home of a heart attack.

He was born May 6, 1968, to Kristian and Edith Bakke in Livingston, Mont. He, 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 were already fixed, and working his snow removal and lawn mowing routes.

With the help of three older sisters, a fort was forged in the summers and the adventures ensued. The outdoors were his first love. Camping in Paradise Valley, 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, where he completed his schooling and graduated in 1987. He 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 though 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 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.

And then, as all good stories go, he 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, he married DaNelle Bondy (of Fort Peck) on 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 pride and joys of his life, Kelsey Ann, Michael Kristian and Ryan Kenneth.

The journey wasn’t always easy, such as 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 grew stronger.

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 have 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 a hundred 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. 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 his 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 us underdogs. Kris loved life and had love for people. He will be dearly missed by all of us.

He was preceded in death by one sister, Nancy Bakke; his father, Kristian Bakke; grandparents; and faithful dog, Sadie.

Survivors include his wife, DaNelle Rae; three children, Kelsey Ann, Michael Kristian and Ryan Kenneth Bakke, all of Havre; parents, Neil and Edith Coffman of Great Falls; siblings, Dorothy Baggett and her husband, Dave, of Kalispell, Judy Burns and her husband, Dave, Kalispell, Tina Tishmack and her husband, Greg, of Bismarck, N.D., and Bethany Miccarelli, and her husband, Seth, of Duvall, Wash.

Memorial services were held Aug. 17 at the Havre Rotary Park with Brian Barrows officiating. A fellowship luncheon was held at the Messiah Lutheran Church after the services. A private family interment will be held later. Memorials 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.

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