William (Bill) Bakker was born June 21, 1924 and died July 4, 2017 following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was born to Abraham and Elizabeth Straatsma Bakker in Billings, MT. He grew up in the Billings-Shepherd area. When WWII was declared, he enlisted in the USAF and became part of the 434rd Troop Carrier Group, 71st Squadron, serving in the European Theater. Bill went on the Honor Flight for WWII veterans in April 2013.
He married Helen Marie Shammel in Billings on September 18, 1948. They were blessed with four children, Steven, Ronald, David and Nancy. He dearly loved his family and took them on many fishing trips teaching them where the “best” spots were.
Bill was a hard worker and became an excellent carpenter, cabinetmaker and jack of all trades. He was very generous with family and friends giving them many of his handmade things. After retirement, he took up golf and looked forward to playing with his buddies. He and Helen enjoyed traveling and spending their winters in Hemet, CA and Apache Junction, AZ.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents and his son Steven. He is survived by Ron Bakker (Cathy), David Bakker (Carolyn) and Nancy Kastner (Mark), Bev Bakker and 6 grandchildren and 7 “greats”.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at West Park Village, Saturday, July 8 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, donations please to the Parkinson’s Support Group of Billings. The family wishes to thank Tender Nest Assisted Living and Compassus for their care and compassion.