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Obituary

Diane Marie Gehrke

August 17, 2021 | 17 comments

After a 3 year long journey with cancer, Diane Marie Gehrke (Hagmann) passed away at 1:15 am on August 15th, 2021 in La Crosse, WI at the age of 59 years old. She was surrounded by family and close friends in the preceding days and the evening before her passing. Diane leaves behind her mother, Joyce Hagmann; husband Ron Gehrke; her sons David LaBeause (Stephanie) and Devon LaBeause; her daughter Danielle Peterson; and her grandchildren Jackson and Wyatt (David and Stephanie), and Camryn and Cylas (Danielle).

Diane was Born January 17th, 1962 at Fransciscan Skemp to Fred and Joyce Hagmann. She attended St. James Catholic School, Aquinas Catholic School, and graduated from Logan High School in 1980. Diane married Dave LaBeause in January of 1985. They had their oldest son David LaBeause, born June 15, 1985. Followed by their second son Devon LaBeause, born July 1, 1989. Lastly, their daughter Danielle Peterson (LaBeause) born January 2, 1991.

Diane formed many lifelong and impactful friendships while working at Inland Printing Company, Independent Massage Therapist, housekeeping at Bethany Riverside, and housekeeping at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. Regardless of where she worked, Diane was able to relate to people and put everyone at ease with her personality and easy going nature.

In the winter of 2014, December 23rd, she married Ron Gehrke. Diane enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle, which included spending hours fishing on the river, camping, and hunting turkey (and a bear one time!). Diane also loved spending her time out in the yard tending to flowers, gardening, and maintaining a koi fish pond. Also, throughout her life, Diane provided care and comfort for many pets who needed love. The two furry companions with Diane and Ron, at the foot of her bed in the final days, were Maggie and Mickey.

Throughout her life, Diane had a sense of humor, sass, and quick wittedness. Diane maintained a level of optimism and positivity in the outlook for her life and journey with her cancer. She saw the opportunity to help improve the outcome for other people diagnosed and dealing with cholangiosarcoma. While always being appreciative of the extra time she could spend with her family and friends. Even in her final weeks she would deliver sass or crack a joke, and bring a smile to the faces of those around her.

The family would like to thank Franciscan Skemp Hospice care. The entire staff involved in the process, from intake, case management, and nursing staff were beyond helpful. This included, but was not limited to: Robbie, Liz, Lindsey, Tuesday, Amanda, and Kelly. The level of care, compassion, and empathy they provided to Diane, Ron, and all the family and friends they interacted with was beyond words of appreciation. The staff always made sure Diane was comfortable and taken care of in her final weeks.

Diane was preceded in death by her father Fred Hagmann, and beloved friends, including Ginny and Jax. Diane is survived by her mother, husband, and children. As well as her brothers Fred (Joan) and Jim (Lynn) Hagmann; her sister Jo Ellen (Wayne Lamprich); numerous nieces and nephews; and additional friends and loved ones.

In honor of Diane’s passions in life, in lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the following organizations: American Cancer Society (cancer.org), Cure SMA (cureSMA.org), or Coulee Region Humane Society (couleehumane.com).

Diane requested to be cremated. Thank you to Coulee Region Cremation Group for cremation services. There will be a celebration and remembrance of her life, on September 4, 2021 from 12 pm to 3 pm, at All-Star Lanes Banquet Hall, 4735 Mormon Coulee Rd, La Crosse, WI 54601.

Condolences

17 Comments

  1. Jeff and Gale Bagstad

    We are so sorry to hear of Diane’s passing; our deepest condolences to the family. There is a special place in our hearts for the kindness Diane showed us in our darkest hours. We are forever grateful and hope she understood the power of these seven words she she wrote, “we know Dustin is not a monster”.

    Reply
    • Mike Coady

      God bless the Hagmann and Gehrke families. You have our deepest sympathies. I’m sure Diane is up in Heaven waiting to be reunited with you all.

      Reply
  2. Sokhon

    I am so sorry to hear of Diane’s passing. I loved seeing her in Family Video when she would come in and rent movies with her husband Ron. You will greatly missed by all.

    Reply
  3. George Donald Chart

    So sorry to hear this but she will be pain free and suffer no more. She went
    thru so much in the last 3 years but now she will be at peace with the Lord.
    Thank you for all the good times we shared. You will be missed.

    Reply
  4. Ed & Jane Ryan

    Jo,
    Im so sorry to hear of the passing of your dear sister! Please know she is in our prayers! It’s been a long time , but I think of you often! God Bless your family!

    Reply
  5. Sue Wyland

    So sorry for your loss. Diane was a great person and friend.

    Reply
  6. Kristin McCabe

    I am so sorry to hear of Diane’s passing. She was always so funny, kind and had a wonderful smile. I’m so glad I was able to know her. Your family is in my prayers as you navigate these very difficult times.

    Reply
  7. Amanda Beach

    I had the honor to meet Diane at work. She was such an amazingly bright star. I am so thankful to have known her. She was a truly amazing, selfless woman. May she Rest In Peace 🙏

    Reply
  8. Jai Nickol Johnson

    I was doubly blessed, to work with Diane for many years and then later reconnect and form an even deeper friendship. I’ll miss her sense of humor, her caring ways, and her brilliant mind. She had the rare ability to always see it like it is and tell it like it is and yet stay positive! The political commentary she wrote was insightful and on point. Whether it was politics or cancer, Diane faced adversity square in the face – honest and tough as hell. And then she’d crack a joke that would make you weep from laughing. She lived her life like an ongoing celebration – grandkids, pets, hunting… everything seemed to bring her such joy. I actually started out being Diane’s boss, but she became one of the best role models I’ve ever had. I’m so sorry you had to lose her so soon. Know that she is loved by many and dearly missed by all.

    Reply
  9. Tori Latimer

    I like to believe that no one is truly gone if we remember them and tell stories about them. I went to high school with Diane and she gave me many stories to tell from our younger days. She was a dear, sweet and funny friend. My heart aches for Joyce and her whole family.

    Reply
  10. Renee Thies

    I had the privilege of knowing Diane through her work at Mayo. She was one of the kindest, hardest working, fun spirited person I’ve ever met. I’m
    Forever grateful of all she taught me about being a good human being. My sympathies to you her loved ones, thank you for sharing her with us.

    Reply
  11. Rose Hammes

    Some of my best childhood memories are of Diane and me exploring the fields and culverts around her grandmother’s house … hunting for spiders, frogs and anything else that would spur our imagination. She showed the same courage facing cancer as she did facing big spiders! God bless you Di!

    Reply
  12. Joseph

    Deepest sympathy for a lovely soul, in the certainty of blessing that God in his mercy shall grant her every grace.

    Reply
    • Kim

      Just wanted to drop in and give my condolences to the family. I met Diane thru the cholangiocarcinoma Facebook account and I always told her how much of a blessing she was to everyone. Always commenting on people’s posts, giving encouragement. What a journey this cancer is! Just wanted to say how deeply sorry I am for your loss. I already miss her comments and words of wisdom. Thoughts and prayers to you all!

      Reply
  13. Tammie Mathias

    I’ve only “known” Diane for about 1 year, when I joined the support group for those of us going though bile duct cancer. Diane took her precious time to talk me through before my first chemo treatment explaining it was hard but doable. She has maintained such a good sense of grace,
    Love and humor, and I know her regret was just having to leave her entire family (and especially grandchildren!) too soon. She was very giving and selfless and knew how to convey hope to others. I pray for her for gentle peace to have accompanied her journey, though I believe she was already well within the spiritual process. Much thanks to her family and peace and comfort to them. Please
    Accept this “as personal as possible” message from a fellow CC traveler – I pray I can be as helpful
    To others as Diane was to me

    Reply
  14. Connie R. Smith

    I knew Diane first as a young girl when I hung out at her home with her big sister Jo Ellen. Their home was the after school hangout. I recall Diane as being her own person – she didn’t try or need to tag along with the older group. I then became acquainted with Diane again as a grown woman. She recognized me after some 40+ years shopping at the Farmers Market at Cameron Park. We walked and talked and she shared with me that she was diagnosed with cancer and that she was at peace with it. She talked about past memories, her family and how she felt blessed. I walked away from that short but sweet visit feeling touched and blessed to have had that special time with Diane. I found that she was still the same woman after all these years – just lovely!

    Reply
  15. Patricia Belke-Becker

    I am so sorry for your loss. She was exceptional in all thing. My prayers are with you all.

    Patricia Belke-Becker

    Reply

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