Mass of Christian Burial for Audrey Bakker, 89, of Marshall, will be Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall.  Visitation will be Monday from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m., with a rosary at 5:30 p.m. and a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at the church. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Marshall.  The Horvath Funeral Service in Marshall is handling the arrangements.  

Audrey Ann (VanOverbeke) Bakker received her well-earned angel wings on September 30, 2022, at the age of 89 at the Prairie Home Hospice Lockwood House surrounded by her family.

Audrey was born to Arthur J. and Josephine (Jennen) VanOverbeke on March 13, 1933 and grew up on her family’s farm in rural Cottonwood with her seven siblings. She graduated from Cottonwood High School in 1951. As a young working woman in Marshall, she greatly enjoyed assisting local dentist, Dr. Carroll, and also was a telephone operator before meeting her future husband, George Henry Bakker. They married on February 23, 1957, and Audrey embraced the role of farm wife as they settled on their rented farm near Green Valley. In 1964, they moved their young family to a farm site in Lyon County which they later named “Bakker’s Acres.” There they invested in improving the building site, raising beef cattle, working the land and nurturing their seven children.  Audrey made the best chocolate chip cookies and baked thousands over her lifetime. In caring for so many kids over the years, she also made numerous loaves of homemade bread, used her wringer washer to clean countless loads of laundry, wiped a lot of runny noses, provided much comfort to bruised bodies, egos and hearts and supported her children by attending more concerts, competitions and conferences than many could imagine.  Audrey had a rock-solid faith and instilled that in her family. Her prayers undoubtedly impacted those she loved. She and George were members and volunteers for more than 50 years at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall.  Audrey was a talented writer, which started in high school when she was a contributor to the school newsletter. She enjoyed the opportunity to return to her craft as an adult in the group “Night Writers,” a community ed program in the 1980s, and was a contributing writer to the local newspaper. She served on the Russell School Board in the early 1980s during a difficult time of transition for the community as the Board grappled with the initial plan to pair with the Tyler School District. A serious car accident in 1986 led Audrey and George to retire from farming in 1990 and move to Marshall.  With their kids on their own and in this new chapter of life, Audrey became more active in the American Legion Auxiliary in Russell and volunteered at Morningside Heights nursing home by coordinating setup for the weekly Catholic Mass, a task she took exceptionally seriously. Throughout her life she often took time to stop and visit relatives and friends in local nursing homes. She and George delivered Meals on Wheels for many years. The couple also could be found together at the Marshall Mall where they went for their morning daily walk.  Audrey always focused on and was concerned for others before herself, even though she faced a variety of health challenges during her life. Throughout those challenges, she exhibited an amazing and extraordinary strength to carry on. Her family is deeply grateful to the Mayo Clinic’s Generose facility staff, especially Dr. Bruce Sutor, for the care, kindness and concern exhibited over the past 20 years in addressing her clinical depression. The family also wants to recognize the staff at Boulder Creek and Prairie Home Hospice for their compassionate care.  Audrey had a bit of a mischievous side and could deliver memorable one liners, often at the most unexpected times. She was an inspiration. She was a woman of faith. She was a selfless caregiver. She was loved. And, she will be deeply missed.

Audrey leaves behind daughter Anita (Pat) Fletcher of Wapiti, WY, and children: Charlie and Colt (Jessica); son Gregg (Becky) of Washburn, WI; and children: Isaac (Kirsti); Eve (Mike) Boaheng, Jake (Stephanie) and Caleb (Rachel); daughter Angela (Al) Pool of Milroy, MN; and children: Nathan (Kaylan) and Megan (Paul) Johnson; daughter Arlene Schwerzler of Rochester; and children: Ted (Morgan) and Amanda (Blake) Koebke; daughter Alice (Dean) Vroman of Milroy; and children: Tony, Jackie; Jen (Michael) Miranda; and Andrew (Courtney); daughter-in-law Linda of Balaton; and children: Adam; Alex (Katie); and Andrew (Sam); and daughter Amy (Scott) Hunt of McHenry, IL; and children: Grace and Eli. She also leaves 35 (plus one on the way) great grandchildren; brothers- and sisters-in-law Richard Bot, Lucella VanOverbeke, Deloris VanOverbeke, Charles and Sharon Bakker, Ellen (Bakker) Brentine, and Cecilia (Bakker) and Rodney Lipp. She was preceded in death by her husband, George; son, Gordon; son-in-law Tom Schwerzler; parents; sisters Phyllis (Bot) and Doris (Labat); and brothers Francis, Vincent, Ronald, Arthur (James) and Marlen.

If anyone wishes to remember Audrey with a memorial, the following are encouraged: Prairie Home Hospice or Holy Redeemer Foundation