(Left to Right) Zeke, Diane, and Sam in their most recent Christmas card picture. 

(Left to Right) Zeke, Diane, and Sam in their most recent Christmas card picture. 

Diane Ihrke passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2017. She worked many years in Hillcrest Academy's resident life program, functioning as a school nurse, women's dean, and women's resident life director. Days before her passing she was serving Hillcrest students fresh baked bread and having mentor conversations with the girls. She adopted two sons who are now Hillcrest students. Her sons are now living with close friends of Diane. This account will immediately support the tuition for Sam and Zeke, Diane's adopted sons, as they continue their education at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.

DIANE'S ROLE AT HILLCREST

Diane Ihrke has had many roles at Hillcrest Academy. Her care was noted by many who received health advice when she was a school nurse. Her work in the dormitories saw many students transform bad habits, finding Scripture on Diane's tongue as she worked to correct behaviors so students more accurately represented the faith they professed. Most recently Diane worked with the dormitories in creating cooking nights where she taught students to make home cooked meals, replete with fresh baked bread, making Hillcrest feel like home.

Diane with her cooking team at Hillcrest Dessert Night competition. Diane's team won.

Diane with her cooking team at Hillcrest Dessert Night competition. Diane's team won.

DIANE'S HEART

Diane loved community. She worked to build a place, both in her home and at Hillcrest Academy, that valued all people. She adopted two babies, now young men, and worked to establish a community of young men and women around her family. She was a trailblazer in the realm of courageous love in the community of Fergus Falls, known by all as someone who was concerned about how others felt, making sure there was a continuous community that supported those around her.

Diane baking bread with dorm students for one of the many Dorm Bread Baking parties.

Diane baking bread with dorm students for one of the many Dorm Bread Baking parties.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

Following Diane's passing, her two teenage sons transitioned to family friends who Diane desired to raise her sons should anything happen. In this tragedy, the boys are finding support from the Fergus Falls and Hillcrest community as they grieve and continue with their schooling. It is the desire of the boys to attend Hillcrest Academy, so the Hillcrest board of directors established a fund for people seeking to support Sam and Zeke during this time. Donations designated to the Diane Ihrke Memorial Fund are tax deductible, and will go to the immediate and future schooling expenses for Sam and Zeke while they attend Hillcrest Academy.