‘Loving, caring and devoted,’ Family remembering beloved man who died at IRONMAN

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 10:39 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The family of Dax Bakken, the 51-year-old identified as the man who died after IRONMAN Wisconsin, is remembering the beloved father, partner, and son.

Bakken’s partner Kristin Keir says it was just before Bakken turned 50 when he decided to get active, starting his journey training for IRONMAN.

“He got this crazy idea, ‘Would you be supportive of me trying to do the IRONMAN?’ and I’m like, ‘Have you lost your ever-loving mind?’' Keir said. “But we worked it as a family and his goals and he did it and he had the most incredible time training and never one frown or complaint or problem, he was so excited about it. He just gave it his all.”

Keir says he enjoyed every second training for the triathlon, never complaining or losing his smile. She says that smile remained as he completed the swim portion of IRONMAN Wisconsin last Sunday.

‘Loving, caring and devoted,’ Family remembering beloved man who died at IRONMAN
‘Loving, caring and devoted,’ Family remembering beloved man who died at IRONMAN(Kristin Keir)

“Gave him a kiss, a high five, he was hooting and hollering, high fiving everyone, so happy, hugged our daughter, he knew we were all there, we all got to see him,” she recalled. “And then he went and got his bike, and we all watched him go off on the bike… smiling.”

His family didn’t know it would be the last time they saw him.

“Shortly thereafter, he had apparently stopped his bike and sat down, and folks found him, and he had passed away. They tried, everybody tried.”

Bakken’s family is holding onto their many memories and the joy he radiated.

“He’s the one who makes the leprechaun boxes and the Halloween costumes and plays all the games and does all the art and watches all the crazy kids shows that I really could care less about,” Keir said. “He’s hard to describe in words because he was so incredible. I mean he’s just absolutely everything, so loving and caring and devoted.”

A GoFundMe was started for Bakken’s family. Supporters have raised over $70,000 as of Wednesday night.

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