One procedure too far: After double digit stent implants, aortic aneurysm mesh, leg artery grafts and 9 weeks after a new heart artery valve, Roger’s luck ran out. A final operation to increase blood flow to a leg resulted in a rare spinal stroke which left him paralyzed. He and the family had one more week together before Roger’s heart quit beating, likely due to pneumonia setting in. We accept his death as preferable to the way he would have had to live the rest of what would have been a tortuous life for him.
One tax season too few: Though he always claimed to be ready to retire Roger had the new software installed and was preparing for another tax season. This worried the family due to memory issues which it turns out were due to minor brain strokes over time. We know his many loyal clients will miss him dearly.
Roger died on February 1, 2018 at age 82. He was born to Geneva Lappegard on April 28, 1935 in Akron, Iowa. He was raised until age 3 at the Lappegard homestead in rural Alcester, South Dakota. After Geneva married Gunval Bakkene the family lived in Canton. Roger graduated from Canton High School in 1953 as a three-sport star. His classmates nicknamed him “Stretch” but family members fondly knew him as “Punky”. Hard work and a fighter’s mentality led him through a successful career in insurance and income tax preparation.
Roger married Ardis Johannsen in August 1953 and they moved from Canton to Minneapolis, then to Pipestone and on to Worthington in February 1960 to work as a State Farm Insurance agent. Within 2 years he was asked to speak of his successful methods to agents far more experienced than he at state meetings. In 1966 Roger brought the H & R Block franchise to Worthington. A realtor’s license was also added to his resume. Roger hardly knew the meaning of rest and cigarettes stoked his fire--right up to his final surgery.
Two different lake homes on Lake Shetek brought Roger and Ardis much joy. And a move to Fulda in 2007 brought to them the small-town atmosphere that they treasured. The family truly appreciates and will never forget the Fulda folks for the love shown to both of our parents especially after their declines brought them into the Maple Lawn facilities. Roger’s many friends at the bars in town may wish to toast to his memory with a Southern Comfort sour (strong!) “I shouldn’t be able to read a newspaper through the glass” was his gauge of a well poured drink. It was delivered to him by the time he shuffled to a seat without even asking; usually to a chorus of “ROGER!” from those friends in attendance.
Roger is survived by his 3 children, Douglas (Linda) Bakkene, Worthington; Darci (Gary) Walters, Lake Ozark, Missouri; Drew (Judy) Bakkene, Sioux Falls, SD; granddaughter, Jessica (Cory) Docken, Minneapolis; grandson, Trent Walters, New York City; great- granddaughters, Emma and Abby Docken; brother, Carroll (Linda) Bakkene, Cottage Grove.
Roger was preceded in death by his mother; step-father; and his wife, Ardis in 2012.
A time of fellowship will be from 5-7 pm Monday at the Dingmann Funeral Home in Worthington; and also one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. A memorial service will be 11 am Tuesday at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, in Worthington, officiated by Pastor Mark Schreiber. A private family burial of cremains will be at a later date.
To view an online obituary or order flowers, please visit dingmannandsons.com
“The meaning of life is that it ends” Franz Kafka
“The meaning of love is that it does not” unknown