Cover photo for Hope Bakken's Obituary
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1940 Hope 2022

Hope Bakken

June 8, 1940 — April 21, 2022


It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Hope Dahle Bakken, age 81. She died peacefully on April 21, 2011 due to complications from Alzheimer's.

Hope was born on June 8, 1940 in Madison, WI, the daughter of Herman Bjorn Dahle and Eleanor O’Sheridan Dahle and sister of Grace Dahle Muirhead.

Hope is survived by her husband, James (Jim) L Bakken, of 59 years; her daughters Kris (Jack) Milner of St. Louis and Ellen (Richard) Schmidt of Cleveland; her grandchildren John (Margaret) Milner, Kate Milner, George Schmidt, Joe Schmidt, Sam Schmidt and her great grandson John Ross Milner.

Hope grew up in Madison, WI and attended Madison West High school and the U. of Wisconsin - Madison. She met her husband, Jim, in 3rd grade and they became high school sweethearts and were later married in January 1963. They moved to St. Louis, MO in 1964 where Jim played professional football for the NFL St. Louis Cardinals. They lived in St. Louis for 25 years before returning to live in Madison. While in St. Louis, Hope taught Sunday school at Central Presbyterian church, was a tireless volunteer at her daughter’s school (John Burroughs), enjoyed running, playing tennis and frequently became frustrated with golf! More than a hobby, Hope was an accomplished seamstress making many elaborate halloween costumes for her grandchildren as well as outfits and dresses for friends and family, especially her two daughters.

In her later years, after returning to Madison, Hope spent 13 years working in the Madison school district, the last 8 years at Shorewood school where she was much loved by staff and students. In retirement, she and Jim enjoyed traveling to Florida where she loved collecting shells and walking the beach.

Hope’s greatest love was her family as she loved being with them and spending time with them. They brought her so much joy. In her family, she was known as the photographer and always had a camera ready to capture all the special moments and then some. Those pictures brought her continued joy!

Hope was known for her warm smile and kind heart. There was never a small child or sweet animal that Hope would not want to meet and offer a kind word. Even during her last years when her memory was failing, she always had a warm smile to greet a stranger. We would like to thank Agrace HospiceCare for their wonderful attention and loving care for Hope during her last few months.

Hope was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Eleanor, and sister, Grace.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022 at 11am at the Cress Center, 6021 University Avenue Madison, WI 53705. Visitation will be held from 10am until time of service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in memory of Hope Dahle Bakken to Agrace HospiceCare 5395 E Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.

Cress Center

6021 University Ave. Madison

(608) 238-8406

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Hope Bakken, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, June 17, 2022

10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, June 17, 2022

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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