PLENTYWOOD — Betty Mae Bakken was born May 21, 1920, in Billings, to Clara (Baur) and William Wachsmuth. As an infant, Betty moved to California with her family. When she was 10, her mother and sister Velma and she moved back to Montana to live on the Huntley Experiment Station. Betty graduated high school at Worden and then went on to receive her BS from Montana State University. She taught one year at Conrad and entered the Women's Army Corps, serving there from April 1, 1945, through March 9, 1946. Betty married Palmer Bakken of Homestead in Roundup on Feb. 18, 1946. Betty and Palmer then moved to a farm in the Homestead area. Palmer passed away in 1974. Betty was the librarian at the Medicine Lake School from 1968 until she retired in 1981. She remained on the farm until 2006, when she moved to The Kensington in Williston, N.D. Due to failing health, Betty entered the Sheridan Memorial Nursing Home in November of 2010.
She passed away Jan. 24, 2011, in the Sheridan Memorial Hospital.
Betty and Palmer were blessed with, and she is survived by, two sons, Bill (Loretta) of the family farm and Dan (Judy) Bakken of White Bear Lake, Minn. She is also survived by Bill's children, Ryan (Ami) of Fort Sill, Okla., and Torie (Luke) Waller of Billings; and Dan's daughters, Jennifer and Janae (Michael) Cotter, both in the Los Angeles area, as well as grandchildren Lane, Mira and Ansel.
Besides Palmer, Betty was also predeceased by her parents; her stepfather, Dan Hansen; and her sister, Velma McKinnon.
Interment services at Big Lake Cemetery at Homestead will be announced in the spring. Cremation has taken place, with Fulkerson Funeral Home of Plentywood in charge of arrangements.