Ardys L. Bakkestuen, 86, of Winona and formerly of Coon Valley, Wis., died on Monday, December 21, 2020. She was born July 21, 1934 in Vernon County, Wis., to Lloyd and Alice (Johnson) Nottestad. She was baptized and confirmed at North Coon Prairie Lutheran Church in Newry, Wis. Ardys graduated from Westby High School in 1952. She married Clifford M. Bakkestuen on July 3, 1954, and raised three children. They lived in Newry until moving to Coon Valley in 1971. She was a longtime member of Vang Lutheran Church in rural Westby.
Ardys worked hard all her life and had a strong work ethic. Throughout her adult life, she worked in the tobacco fields, drove school bus for Westby Area Schools and was nurse’s aide at Vernon Manor Nursing Home. After moving to Coon Valley, she worked as a cook at the Coon Valley Elementary School.
After she and Clifford retired, they moved to Holmen in 1996, where she volunteered regularly at the Salvation Army in La Crosse, Wis. In 2004, they moved to Winona to be closer to their children. She continued to volunteer at the Salvation Army in Winona.
In August 2014, Ardys moved to Watkins Senior Living where she made many new friends and enjoyed every activity they had to offer. Family was very important to Ardys. She loved attending family gatherings and school events of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She also enjoyed attending water aerobics classes three times a week, year round and did so diligently for 13 years.
Survivors include her daughter, Carol (Richard) Kramer, of Winona; a daughter-in-law, Loretta Bakkestuen, of Winona; grandchildren, Steff (Monica) Kramer, of St. Charles; Tressa (Nicholas) Reed, of Winona; Kala Henry, of Brooklyn Park, Minn.; Anna (Khalid) Ali of Savage, Minn.; Danielle (Curtis) Fetting, of Minnesota City, Minn.; Andy (Suzie) Ehlo, of Minnieska; Lucas (Amanda) Bakkestuen, of Helena, Mont.; and Matthew (Rebecca) Bakkestuen, Wake Forest, N.C.; 13 great grandchildren; a brother, Sherman Nottestad; a brother-in-law, Milan Dunnum; and a sister-in-law, Caroline Bakkestuen, all of Westby.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lloyd and Alice Nottestad; husband, Clifford; father and mother-in-law, Carl and Lena Bakkestuen; daughter, Lois Bakkestuen; son, Leo Bakkestuen; and a brother, Lyle Nottestad.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. The Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley is assisting the family. Condolences may be given at selandsfuneralhome.com.
“In another time and place, there awaits our next sweet embrace.”