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Lillian Bakker

Lillian Bakker Lillian Bakker, of Visalia, CA. passed away at the age of 83 on Sunday November, 11 2012 with her children by her side. Lillian was born Liskje Bajema to Dave & Rena Bajema in Friesland, Netherlands on May 30, 1929. Lillian was the 3rd of 7 children, 1 brother, Klaas Bajema, (deceased) and 5 sisters, Jane Mast, Alice Van Esch, Trudy Kooiman, Julie Smith, Beatrice Bajema (deceased) and Rhea Davis. Lillian immigrated to America when she 7 years old with her family, and settled in Artesia, California. Lillian's parents lived the American dream and soon became dairy farmers where Lillian would later meet Allen Bakker. Allen, also emigrating from Friesland, settled with relatives in Artesia, where he was hired by her father. They fell in love, marrying Oct. 27, 1948 when she was 19 and he was 24. They had 5 children, also started a dairy farm and moved the family to Visalia, CA., in 1970 where they both remained until Allen's passing in 1986. Allen and Lillian had a comfortable life, attending the local Christian Reformed Church, dinners out every Friday night, and short trips to Lake Tahoe, coast or Washington to see relatives. Lillian had the pleasure of being surrounded by family all her life. She lived on the family dairy farm until 2006, where her son's and their families lived on the same road. Jim, David & Charlie would frequently visit mom for morning coffee and Rena & Annetta and the daughters in laws and grandchildren came for afternoon tea and swimming. Her home was an active place with many family gatherings for holidays and birthdays. Lillian developed Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) at 33 and has been gracefully handling the many symptoms for this crippling disease with multiple implants, surgeries, and any treatments available. Seven years ago, her RA created her serious problems in her neck and spine and after two surgeries left her with limited mobility. This progressed into her inability to be independent. With a couple years of in-home care, often with family members taking day and night shifts along with her caregivers. In June, 2006 she was moved to her new home at the Christian Assisted Living Facility, Magnolia Park, (formerly Chase Tree Park). We are very grateful for the love and care they gave to our mother and elderly loved ones. They treated her and her family with the dignity and respect that they deserved. Lillian will be remembered for her quiet demeanor, her pleasant smile, her humorous antidotes and her ability to face her trials with optimism and hope. We have comfort in knowing that she found peace with her new body and we will one day see her again. Lillian is survived by her 5 children; daughter, Rena and husband Jim Smith of Tulare, 3 sons; Jim Bakker of Visalia, David and wife, Arlene Bakker, of Visalia, Charlie and wife, Julie Bakker, of Visalia, daughter, Annetta and husband, Danny Stacy, of Hanford. Lillian was "Beppe" to 16 Grandchildren; Jeff Sullivan, Sean Sullivan, Carolyn Griffioen, Robyn Olson, Julie Armendariz, Jennifer Brower, Shelley Colburn, (deceased) Tami Garland & Erin Veitia, Joseph Bakker, Jolene Bakker, Andrea Lanting, Nathan Bakker, Kevin Bakker, Kristen Bonds, Lily Bakker, Grace Bakker, Kyle Stacy & Danielle Stacy. Lillian was Great-Beppe to 33 great-grandchildren. Lillian was preceded in death by; her parents, Dave & Rena Bajema, her devoted & loving husband, Allen Bakker, her daughter in laws, Anna Marie (Van Dyk) Bakker, and Linda (Kievet) Bakker, and her eldest granddaughter, Shelley (Bakker) Colburn. Services will be held Friday, November 16, 2012 at 11:00 am, at the Visalia First Christian Reformed Church, 1030 S Linwood, Visalia, CA. Private burial. Family and friends may visit for a final viewing Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 4:00- 7:00 p.m. at the Salser and Dillard Funeral Chapel, 127 E Caldwell, Visalia, CA. If you chose in lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be sent to Central Valley Christian School, 5600 W Tulare Ave, Visalia CA, 93277. Condolences may be e-mailed to info@salseranddillard.com

Funeral Home

Salser & Dillard Funeral Chapel
127 East Caldwell Avenue Visalia, CA 93277
(559) 635-1144

Published in Visalia Times-Delta on Nov. 14, 2012
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