Diane Frances (Drexler) Rieke, 66, passed away on Saturday morning, May 8, 2021, in her home in Willmar, MN. In the preceding days and weeks, she was surrounded in love by her devoted family and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents (Tom and Clarice Drexler); brother (Tom Drexler Jr.); and other family and friends that she loved dearly.
Diane also had a great many nieces, nephews and Godchildren, as well as many ‘adopted’ ones along the way. Her greatest joys were connecting with and taking care of those around her, providing motherly guidance and support at every opportunity. While there are far too many special people in her life to mention here, know that she cherished you all.
Diane was born to Thomas and Clarice Drexler on July 18, 1954. Along with older brother, Tom, and younger sister, Mary, she grew up in Franklin where she met and married Kenneth Rieke. Kenn and Diane had many adventures together with the greatest being their children, Kit (48) and Holly (44). Diane spent most of her life in Franklin but also enjoyed time living in California when Kit was a baby and later in Prescott Valley, AZ, for a retirement adventure with Kenn. Returning home to Minnesota, Kenn and Diane settled in Willmar to be closer to their extended family, children and grandchildren Amberly Rieke (23) and Kaden Rieke (20).
Diane loved the simple things in life, spending time growing and enjoying beautiful flowers, taking drives in the countryside with Kenn, crafting and decorating her home, cleaning and housekeeping, going on walk-and-talks with her daughter, tuning in each night to watch Wheel of Fortune with her sister, making Sunday brunch for her family, and playing games with her grandkids. She loved connecting with family and friends from miles away, celebrating life along with them every time someone sent her a text, a photo or a message on social media.
Diane was a mighty force in a tiny package. She worked diligently and tirelessly at many jobs in her working years, starting with her parent’s Sportsman’s Bar in Franklin. Along the way, she held many positions taking care of and serving others, which fit her personality perfectly. One of her most cherished opportunities was helping others find just the right decoration or furniture piece at Abraham’s Woodshed in Morton, MN. But mostly, she loved the human connections that were made along the way.
The same mighty spirit carried her gracefully through her journey with cancer, and we are all better people for having known her. We carry her spirit forward. She will be missed greatly!
A Celebration of Life will be held from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 13, at the Franklin Community Center. In lieu of flowers, please honor her love for nature by donating in her name to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.