Albert Curtis (A.C.) Bakken, was born Dec. 19, 1920, near Sharon, North Dakota, where he grew up on the grain and livestock farm of his parents Albert and Martha (Strand) Bakken.
He graduated from Sharon High School and attended Mayville State University during 1939-1941 and the University of Wisconsin in 1943-44 while assigned to the U.S. Army Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). He served with the 76th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II.
With financing by the GI Bill, he enrolled in the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1946. He graduated in 1948 with a Ph.B. (Bachelor of Philosophy) and LL.B. degrees. He received a Juris Doctorate degree in 1969.
He served as State's Attorney for Steele County from 1949-1951, Counsel for the N.D. Tax Department from 1953-1954, First Assistant Attorney General for the State of N.D. during 1955-1956 and State's Attorney for Griggs County from 1957-1966.
In 1967, Governor William L. Guy appointed Bakken tDistrict Judge. He was elected to that position in 1968. In 1975, he was appointed presiding District Court judge for the former First Judicial District of N.D. becoming Chief Presiding District Court Judge for the State of N.D., July 11, 1986. He retired September 30, 1987.
Bakken and his first wife, Shirley Ann Gooderum, were married June 5, 1947, and were united until her death in 1979. They had three children, Gary of Miami Beach, Flor., Glenn of Granby, Colo., and Gay Bakken of St Paul, Minn.
Judge Bakken married Hope Morwood June 25, 1982, and they have resided at 1350 Dogwood Drive in Woodburn, Ore., since 1990 because of its "moderate temperature year round". Hope's daughter Pamela Hardesty lives in Mission Viejo, Calif.
Judge Bakken is survived by his wife Hope, sons Gary and Glenn, daughter Gay, step-daughter Pamela, sisters Bernette Frigaard and Mavis Ohnsager, brothers Charles and Randolph Bakken , grand children Katherine Hill, Jim, Sam and Curtis Bakken, step-grand children Christopher and Hope Hardesty, great-grandchildren Ryan Dykstra and Jack Bakken, many nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.
Al and Hope, shortly after arriving in Woodburn, joined the First Presbyterian Church where A.C. served as head usher for the next eighteen years. They lived in the Senior Estates Golf & Country Club in Woodburn during which time Al served as secretary, vice president, and president on its board of directors. Hope and Al enjoyed dancing most Saturday nights for more than a dozen years in Senior Estates' excellent ballroom where he also served as president of the dance club.
In addition to his love of ballroom dancing and being involved in civic activities, Al had a strong, life-long belief in the Democratic Party. He was one of the original North Dakota "insurgents," and was quick to point to the Democrats, especially Roosevelt, for putting people back to work and creating Social Security. He continued his political activism when he moved to Oregon where he served as a Precinct Chairman for the Democratic Party.
Memorial service will be at the First Presbyterian Church in Woodburn, Oregon, on Saturday, January 24, 2009.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to the First Presbyterian Church Music Fund.
January 22, 2009