Cover photo for Mr. Gilbert Benjamin Bakke's Obituary
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1937 Mr. 2022

Mr. Gilbert Benjamin Bakke

September 13, 1937 — October 28, 2022

Bakke, Gilbert Benjamin, age 85, of Waterford, peacefully entered God’s kingdom on October 28, 2022, where he joyfully reunited with his beloved wife, Lorraine.

Gil was born on September 13, 1937, to Martin and Lydia (nee. Wittenberger) Bakke. He graduated from Waterford Union High School in 1955 and received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1959. Gil was employed as a product design engineer for Rex Chainbelt, Inc. in Milwaukee. In 1968, after the untimely death of his uncle Benjamin Bakke, Gil was invited to manage Bakke Electric Co., Inc., an electrical contracting firm started by Ben Bakke in 1945. In 1969, Gil bought the company outright and owned it until 2000, when he sold it to Westphal Electric. Gil continued as manager for Westphal until 2006 when he retired from the electrical contracting business. In the 1980’s Gil bought Aber Cutters, Inc., a tool and die company in Waterford, Wisconsin, which he also managed. He continued to work part-time to support client relations even after selling the business to his successor, manager, and friend Brian Stichman.

A lifelong resident of Waterford, WI, Gil was known for his ability to understand complex issues and what was most important to a wide range of stakeholders. His emphasis on community service and his unique ability to guide people through contentious issues led him to years of service on the Waterford School Board, the Waterford Village Board, as well as serving as Village President and Racine County Supervisor. Gil also served on negotiating committees for union relations, was a member of several organizations: National Electrical Contractor Association, Western Racine County Sewer District, the Tri County Contractor’s Association, and the board for Norway Lutheran Church. Gil also served in leadership positions for many of those organizations.

On August 11, 1961, Gil made the decision that would alter the trajectory of his life and married the love of his life, Lorraine Frenz, with whom he built two businesses and raised four children (Lila, Laura, James, and Rebekah). Gil would say that his most important legacy was his family. He loved and cherished his wife, and his children. He was a man of integrity and honor and taught his children to keep their word even when it hurt, and that wisdom and a relationship with God was to be pursued above all else. Gil’s hope was that he would conduct his life in such a manner that his children would be proud to wear his name; his children are privileged to call him Dad.

Gil is survived by his four children and their spouses, Lila
(Jim) Giantomasi, Laura (Joel) Barbieri, Jim (Brenda) Bakke, and Rebekah (Tom) Kowalski; his brother, Paul, five grandchildren, Lori-Lynn (Ryan) Ratkovec, Vanessa, Ashley, Catherine, and Joline; and seven nieces and nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Preceded in death by his parents, wife Lorraine, brothers David and Charles.

Visitation will be held Friday, November 4, 2022, from 1:00 to 2:45 PM, with services beginning at 3:00 PM at Norway Lutheran Church, 6321 Heg Park Rd, Wind Lake, WI 53185. Fellowship and a light dinner in the church parish hall to follow services. In lieu of floral expressions of sympathy donations to Norway Lutheran Church would be appreciated. Private burial in Norway Hill Cemetery.

Live link will start at 3PM 11/4:

Mealy Funeral Home
225 W. Main St.
Waterford, WI. 53185
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mr. Gilbert Benjamin Bakke, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, November 4, 2022

1:00 - 2:45 pm (Central time)

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Friday, November 4, 2022

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Friday, November 4, 2022

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