Laverne E. Bak 1935 – 2019

PIERRE, SD – Laverne E. Bak, 83, of Pierre, SD, passed away Tuesday May 28th, 2019, at Avera Maryhouse after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. A “Celebration of life” will be held at the Governors Inn, in Pierre, SD, on Friday, June 14th at 11:00am.
Laverne Edward Bak “Vern” was born September 8th, 1935 to Alfred and Agnes (Jensen) Bak. He was welcomed by three brothers, Merton, Orgene and Alvin. His mother was killed when he was three years old. His father married Martha Simonson and Vern welcomed two additional siblings, sister Rita and brother DeWayne.
Vern learned the meaning of entrepreneurship at a young age with numerous newspaper delivery routes, mowing grass, and farm work.
These responsibilities helped to develop a good work ethic that he modeled throughout his life.
After graduating from high school he enlisted in the US Marine Corp. In the Corp, he served as a court reporter and could use his shorthand skills to record any conversation. He also was a payroll clerk. He shot competitively, a skill that he honed well. He received numerous medals and awards for his shooting abilities.
He served our nation at the end of the Korean conflict and before the Vietnam War. As with all of his comrades, he was once a marine always a marine.
He married Marcene Walker and Risa and Ross were born. He tested out of his first year of college, received his Bachelors from Southern in Springfield, SD and his Masters from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. He taught Business Education in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota.
On June 14th, 1975 he married Brenda Brosz, at that time he was the Assistant Director of Vocational Education in South Dakota. They lived in Pierre until October when they moved to Denver, Colorado. Vern began work in the Regional US Office of Education/Vocational Adult Education Division. When President Carter mandated that the Department of Education staff would be transferred to Washington DC, Vern accepted the position of South Dakota Director of Occupational Information Coordination Committee. After 5 years the Governor of SD appointed a different individual for the position and Vern started his 32 year career of being a well known and respected fishing guide. Coordinating guiding trips from anywhere to 1 to 30 people. The days were long and ended with numerous species of bagged, labeled and frozen fish. He was well known as a crank bait fisherman.
Vern is survived by his wife Brenda of almost 44 years; his daughter, Risa, Yankton, his step mother, Martha Soeth, Viborg; brother, Orgene from Alexandra, Minnesota; sister in laws Pearle Bak; Gerrie Olson; Linda Bak; and Teresa Barkly; Jerry and Faye Kaiser, brother in law and sister in law, of Cheyenne, Wyoming; sister in law, Becky Wall, Aurora, Colorado; numerous nieces and nephews and cousins as well as his adopted family, Amanda, Dusty, Dalton, Dayson and” Federal” Carroll. He was preceded in death by his parents, son, Ross, brothers Merton, Alvin, DeWayne (Bub), sister, Rita and nephew Tom.
The family requests memorials be directed to “Bras for A Cause” and can be directed to Amanda Carroll 1313 Edgewater Drive, Pierre, SD.