Memorial for Cornelis Bakema
Service information has not yet been posted.
Cornelis Dirk "Ray" Bakema, 82, went to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, on November 12, 2020, after a long fight with cancer. Born in Hilversum, Holland, Ray immigrated to Portland, Oregon, as a pre-teen with his family. He served as a reconnaissance photographer in the US Air Force during the post Korean War era, stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, and as an aviation mechanic at Jacksonville Air Force Base, Arkansas.
He worked for AMF Cycle in Jacksonville, building bicycles from designs for display at trade shows. At Franklin Electric in Jacksonville, and Emerson Electric of NW Arkansas, Ray worked as a tool and die maker, crafting specialty parts by hand. Sharing his years of experience and craftsmanship, he enjoyed mentoring younger machinists and students.
Ray was a dedicated student of applied mathematics and physics. His passion was flying, and he excelled as a crop duster and single-engine airplane pilot. Ray loved automobiles and other engines, having rebuilt and restored several of them. He had a zealous appreciation for tools and technology. He was a man of few words and expressed his creativity, precision, love, and service to others through his hands. Fishing, boating, photography, and cooking were among his favorite past times, but he more often delighted in a good practical joke.
Ray is survived by his wife of 62 years, Angela Bakema of Rogers, and three children: Denise Monroe (Tracey), of Gilbert, Arizona, Dennis Bakema, of Centerton, Arkansas, Debra Richardson (Bryan) of Little Rock, Arkansas and his sister, Maria Russell (Gary), of Chandler, Arizona.
He leaves a lifetime example of strong work ethic, resiliency, patience, diligence, and Christian character for his eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Ray attended First Baptist Church of Rogers-Olive Street. Memorial services will be held for the family in Summer 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donation to a charity in Ray's memory.