Merlin A. Bakken, 75, of Decorah, died Thursday evening, Aug. 21, 2014, at Wellington Place in Decorah. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Rev. Chad Huebner officiating. Burial is in Lutheran Cemetery in Decorah, with full military honors by Helof Holm V.F.W. Post No. 1977, Bernatz-Symonds American Legion Post No. 163, D.A.V. Hamre-Giesen Chapter No. 8 andAMVETS Post No. 96. Visitation was 4-7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah, with an I.O.O.F. service at 6:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m., one hour before the service at the church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com. Organist is Marcia Engebretson . Soloist is Brandi Hemesath (“On Eagle’s Wings” and “The Old Rugged Cross”). Congregational hymn is “Amazing Grace.” Casket bearers are Alan Bakken, Robert Bakken, William Bakken, Charles Grim, Andrew Hageman, Josh Hageman and Scott Nading.

Merlin Arthur Bakken was born July 19, 1939, in Ridgeway, the son of Henry O. and Kaia (Nelson) Bakken. He attended Decorah High School and then entered the U.S. Navy Jan. 23, 1957. He earned the rank of Seaman, Storekeeper Striker July 16, 1958. He was honorably discharged Nov. 14, 1960, and transferred into the Naval Reserves. Merlin was united in marriage to Linda Larson Feb. 28, 1965, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah. This union was blessed with two daughters, Laura and Muriel. He was employed at Carlson Materials Co. in their road construction and then in the family business, Bakken Well Drilling. He was a member of First Lutheran Church and Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), where he had served as the Noble Grand. Merlin received his GED from Decorah High School in 2006.

Merlin is survived by his two daughters, Laura (Charles) Grim of Castle Rock, Colo. and Muriel Bakken of Decorah; one grandson, Robert (Shauna) Bakken of Castle Rock; one great-granddaughter, Amelia Bakken; his siblings: Dorothy (Duane) Hanson of Faribault, Minn., Arlin (Marion) Bakken of Decorah, Hubert (Judy) Bakken of Decorah, Durwin (Jean) Bakken of Kansas City, Mo., Katherine Swenson of Decorah and Linda (Doug) Martin of Kansas City, Mo.; one brother-in-law, Wendell Abbott of Tulsa, Okla.; and several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and -nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Donald Bakken; and two sisters, Muriel Bakken and Shirley Abbott.