Our heartfelt prayers and deepest condolences are with the Bakke family this week as Ray Bakke’s wife, Corean Bakke, passed away on Saturday, July 24th. Many BGU students, faculty, and leaders got to know Corean at Bakken for BGU courses and at events around the world that she helped to facilitate. She was truly an extraordinary person whose loss will be felt across the BGU global community.
December 15, 1938 - July 24, 2021
Bellingham, Washington - Corean Jantz was the eldest daughter of Reverend Neal and Jean Jantz of West Plains, MO. In her youth Corean studied piano and viola, winning statewide prizes in both instruments before graduating from West Plains High School with honors in 1956.
Corean entered Moody Bible Institute as a piano major, graduating in 1959 along with fellow student Ray Bakke who majored in pastoral studies. They married in 1960. Ray was the youth and music minister at Elim Baptist Church in Seattle. Their marriage produced two sons – Woody and Brian.
In 1965 the Bakke family returned to Chicago for further studies. While Ray moved into seminary and graduate studies, Corean finished her bachelor's and then master's degrees in performance piano at Chicago Music College of Roosevelt University. From 1966 until 1984 she returned to Moody as Professor of Piano and Church Music. When the Bakke's adopted an African American son, Corean's music agenda quickly adjusted to include Black composers and other ethnic classics as well.
Between 1982 and 1990, Corean traveled internationally with Ray who was doing ministry consultations in cities on six continents. Her research on theology and arts turned into a second master's degree, and her studies in international worship and arts led to her doctoral degree in 1990.
When the Lausanne Committee, founded by Billy Graham, planned their two-week International Congress on World Evangelization with 4,000 leaders from 175 countries to be held in Manila in 1989, Corean was chosen to be the worship planner and coordinator. In that volunteer role, she organized worship with 80 musical artists and groups from six continents and published the hymnal in nine official conference languages. When this monumental task was finished, she returned to Chicago to publish her first book, "Let The Whole World Sing" (Cornerstone Press, 1992), and complete her doctoral program.
After 35 years of living in Chicago, and multiple global and public stage involvements, the Bakke's returned to the Pacific Northwest. Corean designed a house for the arts and music near Acme, WA where Ray's family grew up. Between 2002 and 2018 upwards of 1,000 persons a year came to concerts and seminars at Bakken where Corean served as artist in residence, decorating the house for the seasons of the church year, while hosting and often accompanying principal musicians from the NY Philharmonic, the LA and Seattle symphonies, the SF Opera, and hosts of others in the Whatcom and Skagit symphonies. Corean was also deeply involved with her church, Our Savior's Lutheran in Fairhaven, WA, where she founded and led the bell choir. She also served on the church council, functioning as chair for one year.
Corean was preceded in death by their adopted son, Brian Davis, who died in 2018 in Bellingham, WA following complications from surgery. In 2013 her younger brother David Jantz died of cancer at the age of 68. David, a contractor by trade, resided in Springfield, MO. Corean is survived by Brian Davis's son, Jordan Carrier, and his two children (Jordan Carrier, Jr., and A'Miyah Marie Carrier) who reside near Tampa Bay, Fl. Son Woody teaches high school at Lummi Nation High School. Woody's son Elijah is working on his AA degree and is a member of the National Guard, currently fighting fires in the western states. Woody's daughter, Amber, along with her husband Xavier and their two children, Olivia and Micah, are on a military base in Hawaii where Xavier is stationed. Son Brian and his wife Lisa live in Washington DC where Brian serves as Las America's Director for the Mustard Seed Foundation. Corean's sisters, Marjorie and Mary Jean (JJ), reside in Kansas City.
A graveside service is planned for 10:00 am on Saturday, August 7 at the Saxon Cemetery near Acme, WA.
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