Newspaper Article Archive of
West Seattle Herald
Seattle+, Washington
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Newspaper Article Archive of
West Seattle Herald

October 8, 2010 90-year-old Hank Bakken has led a remarkable life
Article Pages -- as published on the West Seattle Herald website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

This month Hank Bakken turns 90. Though he no longer builds remarkable houses, this modest Burien man has lived a remarkable life.

I luckily met him 30 years ago after I asked the owners of Logan Lumber (now Dunn Lumber) in Burien if they knew a good builder. I asked a bunch of their employees.

Everybody sang his praises.

Thirty years later the house Hank built has never had a crack in the plaster. Burien Architect Al Sasonoff designed it strong and Hank built it the same way. They made a great team.

Maybe it was the mud and dirt of Auburn High's football turf in the late 30's that gave Hank the grit he needed to become an all-star athlete in two sports. Maybe it was his mom and pop who instilled in him the traits that carried him through WWII and a 62-year marriage.

Whatever he learned as a youth was put to the test after Pearl Harbor. Hank enlisted with the Army Air Corp in 1942 just days before he got his draft notice.

Skinny and smart, Hank signed up for flight training in Uvalde, Texas, just west of San Antonio. His bunkmate from Illinois was Dick Barnes, later to become a Washington State Representative from Normandy Park.

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