George Bakker

George Henry Bakker

Tuesday, March 7th, 1933 - Tuesday, September 1st, 2020
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A private Mass of Christian Burial for the immediate family of George Bakker, age 87, of Marshall, will be held on Saturday, September 5, 2020, at Holy Redeemer Church. A live stream of the service will be available at at 2 p.m. A walk through visitation will take place Friday from 4 – 7 p.m. at Rehkamp Horvath Funeral Home in Marshall. Social distancing and mask requirements will be observed. Interment will follow the service at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Marshall.

George Henry Bakker died on September 1, 2020, at the age of 87 at the Prairie Home Hospice McLaughlin House surrounded by his family after a courageous four-year battle with metastatic prostate cancer which had spread to his bones before diagnosis.

George was born to Henry and Clara (Lens) Bakker at home on March 7, 1933, and grew up on the family’s farm in rural Ruthton with his nine siblings. While farm life involved a lot of work, he also had many fond memories, including ice skating on Twin Lakes near their farm. George walked to District 57 Shelbourne Township Country School with his siblings. He left after completing and graduating from the 8th grade to help his family full time on the farm.

As a young man, George ventured out and found work as a hired farm hand for the Louwagie family in rural Green Valley. He learned much and developed great respect for them and said he would not have been able to begin farming had it not been for their generosity. He was grateful for that experience his entire life and shared the story often with his children.

He eventually was able to rent his own farm nearby and soon began his life there with his bride, Audrey Ann VanOverbeke, after they married on February 23, 1957. With the help and encouragement of his brother-in-law and sister, the couple moved to a farmsite east of Russell in rural Lyon County in 1964 which they purchased and later named “Bakker’s Acres.” It became the hub of activity for their family of seven children.
Over the years, George planted countless acres of corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa; raised hundreds of head of beef cattle; and fixed innumerable and seemingly endless items that tend to break on a farm. Some might think he bled green – John Deere green that is. In addition to his working equipment, for several years George had fun with his sons finding and maintaining a collection of two-cylinder John Deere tractors that they drove in area parades.

He was a strong role model, strict and on occasion maybe just a bit stubborn. He also supported his kids by attending their various activities, but especially enjoyed watching their basketball games.

George was an exceptionally hard worker and very self-disciplined. He was a talented self-taught welder who made everything from farm equipment to a swing set. Although recently replaced (after 50 years of use!) that swing set had been enjoyed by three generations at Bakker’s Acres.

A serious car accident in 1986 led him and Audrey to retire early and in 1990 they moved to their home in Marshall. To his delight, he continued to help on the farm often. While mostly focused on the farm and his family, over the years George served on various boards, delivered Meals on Wheels and tried to help other good causes when he and Audrey could. He was a dedicated parishioner at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church for more than 50 years and also became a committed volunteer, especially after retirement. When his health began to limit the projects he could do, he continued to visit the staff at the Parish Center and bring them his homemade chocolate chip cookies (a skill he acquired when Audrey was no longer able to bake).

George had a strong faith and instilled that in his family. He would lead them in the Rosary during Advent and other times of the year. He also faithfully served Audrey, especially as she faced a variety of health challenges, all while he confronted his own health issues.

He enjoyed visiting with company and could talk farming for hours. Anyone who knew him, knew Sunday night was popcorn night! He loved making it (with his special popcorn pan of course!) and sharing it…on any other night of the week too. In recent years, he kept physically active and found pleasure in walking daily at the Marshall Mall with Audrey and the new friends he made.

He had an unshakeable devotion to his family and was lovingly called “Gramps” by his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

George leaves behind his wife, Audrey; daughter Anita (Pat) Fletcher of Wapiti, WY, and children: Charlie and Colt (Jessica); son Gregg (Becky) of Washburn, WI; and children: Isaac (Kirsti); Eve (Mike) Boaheng, Jake (Stephanie) and Caleb (Rachel); daughter Angela (Al) Pool of Milroy, MN; and children: Nathan (Kaylan) and Megan (Paul) Johnson; daughter Arlene (Tom) Schwerzler of Rochester; and children: Ted (Nicky) and Amanda (Blake) Koebke; daughter Alice (Dean) Vroman of Milroy; and children: Tony, Jackie (Karsten) Anderson; Jen (Michael) Miranda; and Andrew (Courtney); daughter-in-law Linda of Balaton; and children: Adam (Brianna); Alex (Katie); and Andrew (Sam); and daughter Amy (Scott) Hunt of McHenry, IL; and children: Grace and Eli. He also leaves 27 great grandchildren (with three more on the way); brother Charles (Sharon); sisters Ellen (Frank) Brentine and Cecilia (Rodney) Lipp; brothers-in-law Robert Lanoue and Richard Bot; and sisters-in-law Lucella VanOverbeke and Deloris VanOverbeke. He was preceded in death by his son, Gordon; parents; brothers James (as an infant), James, and Raymond, sisters and brothers-in-law Agnes & George Prairie, Elizabeth (Lanoue), Theresa & Joseph Laleman, Mary & Julius DeSaer; and brothers and sisters-in-law Vincent VanOverbeke, Phyllis Bot, Francis and Lucille VanOverbeke, John and Doris Labat, Ronald VanOverbeke, Arthur (James) and Agnes VanOverbeke, and Marlen and Judith VanOverbeke.

If anyone wishes to remember George with a memorial the following are encouraged: Holy Redeemer Foundation; Holy Redeemer Foundation - Tuition Assistance; Calvary Cemetery Ops Fund; or Prairie Home Hospice.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, September 4th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, September 4th, 2020 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Rehkamp-Horvath Funeral Home - Marshall
    411 W. Lyon St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, September 5th, 2020 |
    Saturday, September 5th, 2020
    Holy Redeemer Catholic Church
    503 W. Lyon St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A private Mass of Christian Burial for the immediate family
    Rev. Father Dennis Labat
  • Interment

    Calvary Catholic Cemetery
    Hwy59 and Hwy 23
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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9 trees have been planted in memory of George Henry Bakker

From the Staff of Selected Independent Funeral Homes

Posted at 01:07pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

5 trees were planted in the memory of George Bakker

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From the Staff of Selected Independent Funeral Homes

Posted at 12:04pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

3 trees were planted in the memory of George Bakker

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Bruce Sutor

Posted at 10:52pm
To the Bakker family,

I loved reading the brief biography of Mr Bakker and it left me wishing I’d known him longer than I did. I know there are hundreds of stories to be told.

I will always remember him as a loving husband who would drive hours over Minnesota winter roads to make sure someone he loved received the medical care they needed.

Among the greatest honors in life is to meet people like the Bakkers, and if in some small way, one can be there for them through hard times, well, that is an honor indeed.

Bruce Sutor


Kerry Halloran

Posted at 09:21am
Any - what a beautiful tribute to you father in his obituary notice. I am sorry for your loss. May he Rest In Peace.

Mark Higgins

Posted at 06:27am
Dear Amy & Family,
What a beautiful obituary capturing a genuinely fine man who steadfastly communed with nature and tended the earth. Your dad obviously exemplified devotion to his family, deep faith and the values of hard work and service to others. You and yours are enriched by his wisdom and all the life lessons he passed down that will continue to inspire future generations. God bless you as you commend him into the hands of his Maker while giving thanks for such an extraordinary life. May George Bakker rest in peace and arise in glory. Mark Higgins, Durham, NC

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