Obit: Bakker, Elva J. (1908 - 2009)

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Bakker, Hop, Doornink, Tilton, Voskuil  

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) November 25,                                                              

Bakker, Elva J. (31 July 1980 - 10 November 2009) 

Elva J. Bakker, 101, life-long Baldwin (St. Croix County) resident, died peacefully Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009, at the Baldwin Care Center. 

Elva was born July 31, 1908, in Baldwin Township, the daughter of Willie and Hattie (hop) Doornink.  She attended Cloverleaf Elementary School prior to graduating from the Baldwin Christian School where she frequently walked two and one half miles in below-freezing weather to school.  Elva recalled horse racing by local boys before cars were prominent.  If you were fortunate enough to be in the sleigh during one of these races, you took you life into your own hands.  She remembered keeping an eye on a certain young man named Arnold Bakker, who enjoyed racing with Walt Doornink. As a young girl, she also developed an interest with her mother in playing the organ.  She frequently played organ at church and shared that task with Arnold Bakker.  Romance grew as Arnold was brave enough to ask her for a date.  She married her best friend and companion Aug. 24, 1933. This union would be further blessed with a daughter, Doris. 

She and Arnold farmed for many years near Pine Lake on the Bakker family farm. Side by side, they raised their family in times of trials and tribulations, but praised God for their blessings. She loved tending to her home and family.  She was a gifted seamstress who could sew basically anything out of nothing.  She also took great pleasure in quilting, crocheting and making doilies.  Cooking, baking and gardening were tasks that gave her great meaning and reward. 

In 1973, Arnold and Elva retired and moved into the village.  Elva accepted Christ as her Savior and lived life as an example to others.  She is a Christian Reformed Church’s oldest and longest continuous member.  She knew the words to all the psalms and old hymns.  Her last word was fitting end to a devout Christian’s life; when asked by Doris to complete the phrase, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of ….," Elva replied, "Wisdom." 

Elva will remain in the hearts of her daughter, Doris Bakker of Neillsville; sister, Theresa Tilton; as well as Nell Voskuil and many relatives and friends. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Arnold, in 1978. 

Funeral Service for Elva Bakker was held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, at the Christian Reformed Church in Baldwin. Visitation was Thursday, Nov. 12, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Baldwin.  Burial was in the Baldwin Cemetery. 

Online condolences may be made at  



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