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M. Wesley Bakken

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M. Wesley Bakken Obituary
M. Wesley Bakken

Merle Wesley Bakken, age 73, of Long Beach, California passed away peacefully at home on Monday February 10th, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born October 19, 1940, he was the son of the late Norris Olaf and Mamie (Snow) Bakken of Volga, S.D. and stepmother Edith Mary (Hopson Cook) Bakken. He also has a brother Bernard and sister Dona.

Wes, as he is known by his loved ones, is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Dr. Carol (Haney) Bakken Ed.D., along with four of his children; daughter Shari Lloyd-Owen (William); son Steve W. Bakken (Sheri); daughter Toni Berryhill (David); daughter Molly Allen (Jimmy); 13 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter Cathy S. Aubrecht of La Verne, CA.

Wes attended Covina High School, Solano Community College, and received his B.A. from California State University-Long Beach in Geography/Cartography.

His Naval career spanned 21 years in which he served on several surface support and combatant ships as he advanced from a Signalman Seaman through the ranks of Master Chief Petty Officer, then onto the Mustang ranks as Chief Warrant Officer. He retired in 1979 in Treasure Island, CA at the full commissioned rank of Lieutenant.

In the mid 80's he was the Director of Operations, first for Shoreline Village, then Shoreline Centers, Inc. until the early 90's when he re-retired. That didn't last long and he worked for a Wholesale Grocer as a Computer Operator before becoming the Project Manager in charge of their computer systems, from where he re-re-retired by 2001.

Wes was a Senior Volunteer for the California Highway Patrol from 2002 to 2004. He wrote a book entitled "One Day" depicting the lives of two brothers from Norway…his family originated from Norway and migrated to the US in 1905.

He is remembered for his kindness and generosity towards others. He was actively involved in volunteering for the Community, adopting and sponsoring Rowland Avenue Elementary School in Covina, CA, as well as supporting all ten elementary schools in the district up until the time of his passing.

He was the cornerstone of our family and will be sorely missed.

A public Celebration of Life/Ice Cream Social will be held at Rowland Avenue Elementary School March 9th 2:00pm involving both of the families that he so dearly loved: his wife and children, and the greater school and district community. The family will be holding a private scattering of ashes at sea in Myrtle Beach, SC this Father's Day.

You can honor his memory by sending donations to the school that he loved so much. A check can be sent made out to Rowland Avenue Elementary School and indicate that it's "In memory of Wes Bakken" and mail the check to the district office at:

Covina-Valley Unified School District, c/o Bridgette Swaim, 519 E. Badillo Street, Covina, CA 91723. Please sign the guestbook at www.presstelegram.com/obits.
Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on Feb. 23, 2014
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