Verna Bakkum

August 30, 1927 - May 9, 2020

Milton, WI -- Verna Bakkum, age 92, of Milton passed away on Saturday, May 9, 2020, at Agrace Center for Hospice & Palliative Care in Janesville, with her family by her side. Verna was the eleventh child born to Albert and Josephine Sagmoen on the South Ridge home farm in Coon Valley, WI. The Sagmoen family survived the years of the Great Depression working their farm. Verna attended the Nerison School, located across from their farm, and went on to graduate from Westby High School in 1946. She attended her class reunions well into her 80's.

Verna married Joseph Bakkum in 1948, at the Vang Lutheran Parsonage. Per Verna, they were required to marry in the Parsonage, because they had a wedding dance. Verna and Joe loved to dance, and danced perfectly together. They especially enjoyed the waltz and polka. Verna and Joe celebrated 66 years of marriage. Together they raised five children in Janesville, WI. In addition to working on her family farm, Verna worked at the Viroqua Bookstore, before her marriage to Joe. While raising five children Verna also worked at Amphenol in Janesville for ten years, before moving back to Westby, WI. From 1977 to 2006, Verna and Joe lived outside of Westby, where they raised tobacco on their farm.

Verna enjoyed playing cards and trout fishing with her children and grandchildren. She was an accomplished quilter. She made quilts for her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. Verna also enjoyed genealogy. She compiled the background of her relatives dating back to the 1800's. Verna's faith was very important to her. She was currently a member of Trinity Free Lutheran Church. She was baptized in Vang Lutheran Church, Coon Valley. After her marriage to Joe, she was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, Janesville. While living back in Westby she was a member of Coon Prairie Country Church, where she was a Deacon. Verna was very proud of her Norwegian heritage. She and Joe often spoke Norwegian, especially when their children were growing up. Verna and Joe, together with their family, enjoyed making Lefse. Her fresh baked Rosettes, Krumkake and Sandbakkels will be dearly missed. Verna was an avid Packer and Brewer fan. She truly enjoyed exchanging birthday and Christmas cards her entire life. Verna's priorities were family, friends, and her faith.

Verna is survived by her five children: Jackie of Janesville, Vernon of Massena, NY, Larry (Sharon) of Janesville, Judy (Michael) Franze, Buckeye, AZ, and Barb (Bob) Hiser of Janesville; nine grandchildren: Lane (Kristie) Furseth, Jayci (Brian) Reilly, Matthew (Kari) Furseth, Eric (Kolleen) Bakkum, Jennifer (Jim) Bakkum, Gregory (Kate) Bakkum, Jessica (Judson) Laabs, Justin (Stacey) Franze, and Aaron (Olivia) Hiser; 16 great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; sister, Jolene Deaver; sister-in-law, Elizabeth Veum; and numerous nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, Verna was preceded in death by her husband in 2015; granddaughters, Lisa Franze and Charlene Furseth; siblings: Lloyd Sagmoen, Alice Engh, Lloyd Sagmoen, Archie Sagmoen, Marion Iverson, Esther Cade, Jeannette Hanson, Otis Sagmoen, and Verlyn Sagmoen.

A private family viewing will be held at Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory in Janesville, with burial in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Due to the unprecedented health concerns, a celebration of Verna's life will be held at a later date. For online condolences and guestbook, please visit:

A special "Thank you" to the staff at Agrace Hospice Care and Milton Assisted Living, for their kind, considerate and compassionate care of Verna.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

To plant a tree in memory of Verna Bakkum as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.