Bakken, Avamay Wyone (Kopecky)


Avamay Wyone (Kopecky) Bakken, aged 63, (1953-2017), known as Ava to most and May to a special few, went home to God on June 19, after a struggle with cancer. She passed peacefully, surrounded by her children. 

Ava was born in Greenbush, Minn., in 1953, to Adolph and Eva (Staie) Kopecky. She graduated from Park High School in Racine, Wis., in 1971. In December of that same year, she married her soul-mate, Michael Perry Bakken. Together they had seven children for whom they provided a home full of faith, love, and laughter. Ava was a warm, gifted, and witty woman who was the heart of her family. Her comforting presence, many talents in cooking, baking and crafting, and her great love of music, dancing, and laughter turned any of their many dwellings over the years into a real home. She could make a meal of even modest ingredients seem like a feast, and transformed even the most frugal Christmas her family spent into a favorite, cherished holiday and memory. She welcomed everyone at her table, and, over the years, shared her home with various family members, friends, and even some strangers who became family in short time. Ava was a gifted writer and wonderful storyteller whose frequent letters to friends and family kept them in absolute stitches. Even amid her long struggles with mental illness which began in her late 30s, she maintained her particular sense of humor, which often surfaced suddenly and was a great comfort to those who knew her. 

Avamay was preceded in death by her father, Adolph; and her son, David. She is survived by her love, Michael Bakken; her mother, Eva Miller; five siblings, Calvin Kopecky, DeAnne Hanson, Beverly Kopecky, Michelle Harmoning, and Debbie Kopecky; six children, Sherilee Bakken, Melanie (Michael) McCarty, Natalie Bohrer, Katrina Bakken, Amanda (Adam) Potter, and Michael Bakken Jr.; and her 10 grandchildren, who were among the greatest joys of her life. 

There will be a visitation on Thursday, July 6, from 2-4 p.m. with service from 4-5 p.m. at Rochester Cremation Services in Rochester, Minn. To share condolences and especially memories and stories about Ava which are of great comfort to her family, please visit her memorial page at


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