Diedra Kurtenbach Gatzke (22) passed away Feb 14, 2019 caused by a brain hemorrhage of an AVM on the evening of February 12, 2019. Diedra will live on through others with the generous gift of organ and tissue donation. Celebratory visitation is Monday, February 18, at 5:30-7:30 pm at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Brookings with a Liturgical Wake Service beginning at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial is Tuesday, February 19, at 11 a.m. also at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Brookings. Interment will be at a later date. Rude’s Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Diedra, the family requests any memorials to be directed to The Trevor Project (www.thetrevorproject.org) or Boys Town of Nebraska (www.boystown.org).
Diedra was born July 29, 1996 to Carla (Kurtenbach) and Brian Gatzke, and five years later Diedra’s brother August joined the family.
Diedra graduated from Brookings High School in 2015, attended Iowa State for one year, and then attended University of South Dakota for nearly three years majoring in management. For three summers, Diedra worked at Hy-Vee in Brookings and Sioux Falls. For the last six months, Diedra was assistant manager at the E 10th St Hy-Vee. Diedra’s priority was positively impacting peers and customers.
Diedra attended and then helped at Garnet Petersen’s home day care from birth until age 13, danced at Expanding Harmony Dance Studio from kindergarten through 12th grade, was an artist and active in debate throughout high school. At USD, Diedra was active in many organizations, including Student Government Association, Spectrum, and CDC – Center for Diversity and Community.
Diedra was strong-willed, independent, and an advocate. Diedra was a staunch leader who could make allies with great smiles, who spoke for the marginalized and underserved and took actions to improve the unfair or unjust with a passion to help others and better the community – a force for change. Diedra was funny, with a quick wit, ready smile, and always ready for an adventure.
Diedra was active in the LGBTQ+ community. Diedra loved animals, riding horses, caring for the family cats and poodle Mori, as well as volunteering at the Humane Societies in Brookings and Vermillion.
Diedra was much loved and will be greatly missed by parents, Carla and Brian, and brother, August Gatzke of Brookings; grandparents Al and Irene Kurtenbach of Brookings and Lee and Ulla Gatzke of Tulare; uncles and aunts, Reece and Kami Kurtenbach, Paula Kurtenbach, and Matt and Melissa Kurtenbach all of Brookings, Lisa and Todd Glanzer of Denver, CO, Brenda and Larry Ling, and Julie Gatzke and fiancé Mike Childers, all of Sioux Falls; cousins, Kalli Kurtenbach and fiancé Connor Pederson, Kariah Kurtenbach, Nichole and Logan Wentworth and Jeannie Oberkirsch and fiancé Deontae Thorn, all of Sioux Falls, Jake and Josh Glanzer, and Kirstie Kurtenbach of Denver, CO, Kinsey Kurtenbach of Minneapolis, MN, Brandt and Corrinne Ling of Dayton, OH, Alexandra and Josh Laird of Waterloo IA, and Kane, Quinn, Cora, and Carmen Kurtenbach all of Brookings.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.rudesfuneralhome.com.