Harlan T. Bakken

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 2:37 pm

Harlan T. Bakken, 78, of Waukon, died Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, at Thornton Manor Nursing Center in Lansing. Harlan’s wish was to donate his body to the Mayo Clinic Department of Anatomy in Rochester, Minn., for medical education and research.

Memorial services are at 2 p.m. Monday, May 15, at Decorah Lutheran Church, with Rev. David Sorenson officiating. Visitation begins at 1 p.m. Monday, May 15, one hour before the service, at Decorah Lutheran Church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com.
Harlan Trytten Bakken was born March 6, 1938, in Ridgeway, to Lloyd and Edna (Trytten) Bakken. He attended Ridgeway Schools, Luther College, and Iowa State University.

In 1966, he married Doris Schnuelle of Waukon. To that union, two children were born, Michelle and (Michael) Christian.

Throughout his adult life, Harlan sold insurance, refereed sports events, taught Sunday school, and most recently enjoyed working for the AARP/RSVP tax program. He took pride in receiving a volunteer commendation from President Obama thanking him for his many hours of service.

One of Harlan’s main passions was polka music. In 1988, he met Dana Waters of Waukon, and they spent the next 28 years together. As members of the Skyliners Polka Club, Harlan and Dana travelled to (and loved to dance in) many polka festivals. They took many trips to Denver, Colorado to see his children and to Montana to Dana’s family. He also liked to tinker with cars and mowers.

Harlan is survived by his long-term partner, Dana Waters of Waukon; his daughter, Michelle Bakken of Denver, Colo.; his son Christian, and grandson Mason, of Denver, Colo., and his two sisters Andrea (Wendell) James of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Leanne (Jerry) Upward of Rockton, Ill. Other survivors include Dana’s family: Tracy and Chris Waters of Belfry, Mont., Robert and Peggy Woodbeck of Waukon, Tim and Sarah Waters of Waukon, Jason and Tina Waters of Farmersburg, Jaime and Jessie Waters of Waukon, Scott and Traci Waters of West Salem, Wis., 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to a charity of choice.

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