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Fargo boy mows lawns all summer to pay for a gravestone for a man he's never met

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Fargo, ND (WDAY News) - By the end of this next story, 11-year old Brandon Bakke of Fargo will have taught all of us some valuable life lessons about family, hard work and knowing where we came from.

A Fargo family adopted Brandon at birth and as he began asking his Fargo family questions recently, the layers began to peel away.

As summer slowly turned to fall in Fargo, Discovery 6th grader Brandon Bakke cranked up the John Deere, for yet another mowing job; this summer, he's had a few.

He's had to, his choice.

"I had flyers I put out," said Brandon.

Brandon spent the summer mowing lawns for neighbors and strangers, raising money, not for himself, but,

"I am going to spend that on a gravestone," said Brandon.

For a stranger, by the name of Terrence, a man he has never met.

"To be able to buy the gravestone for him," said Brandon.

At Dakota Monument in South Fargo, artists and designers have been working with Brandon, coming up with the perfect marker to honor Brandon's wishes

"He just asked more and more questions," said Brandy Bakke, Brandon's mom.

It turns out as Brandon began asking questions about his biological family, he learned his father, had recently died, and was buried without a marker, in Chicago.

I don't think anybody should go unknown in life, even though their choices they made or anything.

Brandon would mow lawns all summer long, raising money to buy his dad a monument; a father he never knew.

They didn't have the money to put one there.

After carefully stenciling, measuring, cutting and blasting the workers at Dakota Monument slowly began to see the piece of granite come to life. This would be a son's gift to his father.

"It makes me feel very proud, as a son," said Brandon.

A chance to know the past, even though so much was still missing.

After days of planning, plotting, grinding and polishing, it came down to something wonderful.

Brandon showing up with a homemade ceramic jar full of money.

He walked in for the reveal, a boy and his heart and a stone.

Those who helped make this stone, stood back and watched this new chapter in this young man's life.

"It is just surreal, I am so happy for him," said Brandon's mom.

"If he could see it, he would be proud of me," said Brandon.

Even though Brandon came with a jar full of lawn mowing money, Dakota Monument, in honor of Brandon's hard work, decided it would donate the stone.