Clair Douglas Bakke, 66, of Irene, SD completed his earthly journey on October 23, 2022.
Clair was born on April 25, 1956 and grew up in rural Irene, SD as the son of a farmer and an educator. He attended Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and graduated from Irene High School in 1974. His next adventure was at the University of South Dakota where he pursued criminal justice and joined Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Following college, Clair discovered his lifelong passion for home renovation and the tile work he was best known for.
In June of 2020, Clair bravely looked his own mortality in the face when he was diagnosed with cancer. Through over two years of chemo, dialysis, and surgeries, he maintained his notorious positive attitude. His diagnosis was his everyday life, but not his identity. Clair will be remembered as a father, friend, fisherman, and Coyote football fan with a zest for life.
Clair ran on “Bakke Time” – whether that was staying up late, skipping work to fish, or not quite completing his tinker projects. Saturdays were for Clair’s passions: tailgating, making lefse, riding his tractors, and listening to Outlaw Country music. Every day with Clair was an adventure, often one you didn’t expect.
Any friend Clair made was a friend for life, as evidenced by the unwavering support he and his family were fortunate to receive.
Clair’s family extends gratitude towards all who empowered him on his journey: family friends Aune, Engen, Hill, Eskins, Foss, Hill, Korbel, Lammers, Pieper, Rasmussen, Storgaard, Ticknor, Vollmer, and Williams; his care teams in oncology, dialysis, chemo, surgical; and his specialists at The Mayo Clinic.
Remembering Clair are his life partner, Arlene Harper; daughter, Calla Harper; family friends; brother, Wallace (Vivian) Bakke; cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and German Shepherd, Kimber.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Sanden and Virginia (Larsen) Bakke; cousin, Richard Bakke; grandparents, Sigurd and Clara (Sanden) Bakke and Walter and Mildred (Brown) Larsen; and many aunts and uncles.