Paul J. Bakke Profile Photo

Paul J. Bakke

December 6, 1958 — February 25, 2024


Paul J. Bakke

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Paul James Bakke, 65, of Winona.  Paul passed away on Sunday, February 25, 2024, in the comfort of his home surrounded by his family, friends, and beloved fur babies.

Paul was born on December 6, 1958, in La Crosse, WI, to Richard and Doris (Beier) Bakke.  He graduated from Central High School in La Crosse, and then went on to La Crosse Tech, where he graduated as an auto mechanic and autobody technician.

In 1980, Paul married his forever love, Kristi Knutz from Dakota, MN, and together they built a beautiful life filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable memories.

Paul worked at Fiberite/Solvay for 43 years until he retired.  He also operated his own business of lawncare, snow removal, and logging.  He also worked for his dear friend, Pete Woodworth, on his hobby farm for 30 years, and kept working for Pete’s wife and children after Pete passed away.  If you knew Paul, you would know that he worked very hard, but played even harder.

He loved to snowmobile and fish with his daughter, Brooke.  Paul and Brooke both raced dirt track in Decorah, IA, at Nordic Speedway for 9 years.  Paul also loved watching his son, Toby, shoot trap for his high school and summer league at the Winona Rod and Gun Club.

After retiring, Paul spent most of his days in his boat fishing, which he absolutely loved.  He always had tall tales from his days out fishing.  He would make sure to let everyone know if they were, “in his spot,” as if his name was on it.  Paul fished on a Tuesday morning and Thursday evening league at the Minnesota City Boat Club.   Paul gained some very special buddies from his Tuesday morning league – Doc, John B., DB, Shank, and many more.   His favorite fishing partner was his fishing partner, Kristi.  Spending time with her on the water was truly his most cherished activity.

Paul is survived by his daughter: Brooke (Chris) Bakke-Schroeder; son: Toby Bakke; fur babies: Samdog and Gizmo; and his granddog, Jake.  He is also survived by Gloria Schroeder; brother-in-law: John (Katie) Hamilton; nephew: Shawn (Megan) Books; Lathan Good; brothers and sisters: Marcia (Steve) Jandt; Doug (Lori) Bakke; Patty (Randy) Nicolai; Missy (Phil) Pederson; Brad (late Heidi Bakke) Richardson; Steven (Amber) Bakke; and Kathryn (Rich) Smith; as well as other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his forever love, Kristi (Knutz) Bakke on August 29, 2020; his parents, Richard and Doris (Beier) Bakke; loving brother, Kevin Bakke on November 22, 2000; loving sister, Sandy Bakke on January 7, 2001; very special niece, Rosemary Bakke in December 1984; very loving sister, Heidi (Bakke) Richardson on December 12, 2023; and a sister-in-law, Katie (Knutz) Hamilton on April 9, 2023.

In addition to his family, Paul wanted to give a special dedication to some very important people in his life.  He will always be remembered by his fishing partner (bromance) John (Patty) Durnen; the Tuesday morning fishing crew, and the ladies (when are we going to make hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, Leona?) Leona; Tammy and Art, Chris Morrison, Linnea Klawiter, Doc (Sandy) Wentzel, Judy Brugger, Rick, Leslie, and Taylor Hanson; Sam, Mitch, and kids Klawiter; the Larson family; the Klawiter family; the Duleks; the Earneys; Jori Meyer and the Davis crew; the Beier relatives on his mom’s side; Ivy Jackman; and the whole Woodworth family.

Paul will be deeply missed by all who knew him.  His sometimes grumpy ways, his kind heart, his big ol’ smile, and his unwavering love for his family and friends will never be forgotten.

Rest in peace, Paul (dad).

A celebration of Paul’s life will be held at the Minnesota City Boat Club on Saturday, March 2, 2024, from noon until 6 PM.  Paul requested that those attending should dress casually and comfortably.  A light luncheon and refreshments will be served.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Paul’s family at

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


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