Mildred “Millie” Agnes (Zuncic) Bakken passed away on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at age 86.
Millie was born to Frank and Agnes Zuncic on Dec. 18, 1932, in Chicago, Ill. She grew up in Cicero, Ill., until the age of 14. Her parents then moved to Chetek, Wis. Millie graduated from Chetek High School in 1950. She met Leland Bakken when she was working at her parents’ “Root Beer Stand,” and they were married in 1952. She joined him to work the family farm in Sand Creek, Wis. After having four daughters, Lee and Millie stopped farming in 1969 and moved to Chetek, where Millie worked at medical and dental clinics. In 1976, they ventured to Oshkosh, Wis., to purchase and run a small motel. After selling the motel, Millie worked at Mercury Marine and then retired from Fort James Corp. Lee and Millie initially retired to Chetek in 1998 and then returned to Oshkosh in 2005 to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren. Lee and Millie moved to Eastbrooke Manor in 2015.
Millie was an accomplished ethnic cook and baker, using her mother’s bohemian recipes. She learned many Norwegian recipes after marrying Lee. One of her greatest gifts was sharing her love of baking with all who visited her home. She was kind, loving and generous to all she met. She was passionate about her family, attending many of her grandchildren’s events. She was a dedicated member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, participating in church council, Elizabeth circle, altar guild and the wonderful Koininea Group, making lifelong friendships.
Millie is survived by her husband of 66 years, Leland Bakken; daughters Diane (Jesse Pedroza) O’Connell, of Lake Station, Ind., Elaine (James) Kratz, of Omro, Wis., Joanne (Jonathan) Patterson, of McKinney, Texas, and Sharon (Shane) Malnory, of Oshkosh, Wis.; grandchildren David Kratz, of St. Paul, Minn., Tatum Malnory, of Oshkosh, Wis., and Ava Patterson, of McKinney, Texas; stepgrandsons Jeremy Pedroza, Nathan Patterson and Benjamin Patterson; and many nieces and nephews.
Millie was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Agnes Zuncic; sisters Lydia Staples and Vlasta Soucek; and her brother, Edward (Delores) Zuncic. Also preceding her in death were brothers-in-law Arvel (Mabel) Bakken and Norman (Harriet) Bakken and sisters-in-law Cora (Arthur) Anderson, Agnes (Harold) Thorstad and Ruby (Elmer) Van Dorston.
Visitation and services will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1860 Wisconsin St., Oshkosh, on Thursday, May 30. Visitation will be at 3–5 p.m., with a service to follow. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery on Friday, May 31, at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1860 Wisconsin St., Oshkosh, WI 54901 for the remodeling of the church kitchen she generously helped in all those years. Memorials may also be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association NE Wisconsin, www.alz.org. The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Eastbrooke Manor for their years of tender care and Heartland Hospice for their help and care this last month.