MISSOULA ~ Robert A. “Bob” Bakke, 83, of Missoula passed away on August 25th with his family by his side.
Bob was born in Missoula on January 5, 1938 to N. Vincent and Florence M. McCart-Bakke. Bob was educated in Missoula attending Prescott Grade School, Missoula County High School and University of Montana. During his college years, Bob participated in the ROTC program and joined the Montana Army National Guard, later transferring to the Montana Air National Guard.
Growing up, Bob was enamored with any motorized vehicle, whether it was a Whizzer bicycle, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a Model T Ford, a customized hot rod, or one of many 4x4 jeeps. Bob liked speed and pushing the limits, motorcycle racing, off-roading and racing go-carts. He was active in the Hellgate Motorcycle Club, racing in Montana and Idaho. Bob was known as the “Whizzkid” which was proudly emblazoned on his helmet.
During grade and high school, Bob worked for his father at Vince Bakke’s Conoco. After the station sold in 1953, Bob worked for another service station until his father started Vince Bakke’s Tire Shop in downtown Missoula. Bob worked at the tire store until 1961 then became manager of Bakke Tire Service after his dad, Vince, passed away.
On December 18, 1960, Bob married his sweetheart, Arlene Johnson, of Missoula. Last December they celebrated their 60th anniversary. Arlene supported Bob during his working years by keeping the home fires lit and raising their four children.
As Bob’s mother reached retirement age, he became a partner in the family business. Bob loved the business, the employees, and the customers. It was common to see him at one of the Bakke Tire stores at any hour of the day or night. Long hours and hard work were his mantra.
However hard he worked, Bob always found time to play with the family. Many a happy weekend was spent at Seeley Lake boating, motorcycling, riding 4 wheelers or hiking up to Morrell Falls, with his best friend Big Al and his wonderful family who always had room for us. As kids it was hard to keep up with him, but we were always there having fun and working right alongside of him and Mom.
Bob gave back to his community through volunteering with the Montana Tire Dealers, Missoula Jaycee’s, Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church and the Orchard Homes Country Life Club.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Vincent and Florence Bakke.
Bob is survived by his wife, Arlene Bakke, sons; Vince (Myra) Bakke, Great Falls, MT, Victor (Christy) Bakke, El Cajon, CA, daughter Valerie Bakke, Missoula, and son Vaughan Bakke, Missoula, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, siblings Kenneth (Denise) Bakke, Kent, WA, Barbara Bakke, Springfield, OR, Gary (Donna) Bakke, Missoula, and Ronald (Debra) Bakke, Salem, OR.
A service will be held Thursday Sept 2nd at 2 pm at Garden City Funeral Home, 1705 W. Broadway St., Missoula. Entombment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens Mausoleum of Remembrance.
In lieu of flowers, a donation in Bob’s name can be made to a charity of your choice.
Bob will be missed and remembered by many. May God Bless and keep him. May he rest in peace!
Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home in Missoula.