Diane Arnsdorf-Cordes, 59, of Glenwood, died on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, at home after a valiantly fought battle with ovarian cancer over the past seven years.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Glenwood Lutheran Church with the Rev. Krista Lee officiating. Arrangements are with the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood.
Diane Marie Arnsdorf-Cordes was born on Dec. 8, 1962, to David and Alva (Jensen) Arnsdorf in Springfield Township, Brown County. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church. She grew up in the small town of Springfield, alongside her three siblings, cousins, and friends. As a child, she treasured family camping trips in the summer and time spent at the lake. Diane graduated from Springfield High School in 1981.
Diane was a lifelong learner who understood the importance of education. She attended college at the University of Minnesota in Morris where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and education. Diane went on to earn her master’s degree in school counseling and clinical psychology from South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. In 2013, Diane received her administrative degree from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis. Diane also completed certification to become a lay minister in 2018.
Diane was always passionate about serving children and understanding their unique needs. She spent her entire career working with and for kids. She was first employed at Glenwood High School, which later became Minnewaska Area High School, where she worked from 1988-2013. She had a variety of job titles over her career there, including guidance counselor and principal. While at Minnewaska, she took a short sabbatical to work as a youth minister at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Alexandria. In 2013, Diane was hired as superintendent of the Breckenridge School District, where she worked until 2021 when she was forced to retire due to her declining health. Once retired, she worked part time with the Otter Tail County Collaborative. Diane treasured the work she was able to do in the field of education and said that the most rewarding aspect was, “Seeing kids succeed.”
Relationships were something that Diane greatly valued, including those she formed with students and colleagues during her career in education and those that developed out of her ministry endeavors. The most highly treasured relationships were, of course, those with family and friends. Diane was blessed to spend 35 years with the love of her life, Richard “Dick” Cordes, whom she married on Sept. 12, 1987, in Brookings, S.D. In 1990, they welcomed their daughter, Kali, into the world. Diane and Dick made their home in Glenwood where they continued to keep a residence even when Diane worked in Breckenridge. Diane always loved being close to Lake Minnewaska and spent countless hours there with family and friends boating, skiing and soaking up the sun. She was continually on the move and when not on the lake, she could be found either playing or watching sports. Diane played basketball in college and continued to play recreationally with Dick for many years. She also enjoyed traveling to Colorado to see her daughter and hike in the Rocky Mountains. She always loved the summer sunshine and enjoyed vacations to warm beaches during cold Minnesota winters. No matter what she did, Diane enjoyed being with her beloved family and many wonderful friends.
Diane believed in investing in her community and served on the boards of a variety of organizations covering a number of different causes, including the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, the Richland Wilkin United Way and the Richland Wilkin Community Foundation. Diane’s faith was of utmost importance to her and so she also took on leadership roles at the churches where she was a member, including Breckenridge Lutheran, where she served on the church council, and Glenwood Lutheran, where she served on the church council and as congregational president.
Diane is survived by her husband, Dick Cordes of Glenwood; her daughter, Kali (Tyler) Weber of Lafayette, Colo.; her stepchildren, Chris (Dealyn) Cordes of Marshall, Stephanie (Sig) Holme of Spicer and Matt (Von) Cordes of Isle; her siblings, Brad (Colleen) Arnsdorf of Goshen Ind., Char (Carol) Arnsdorf of Willmar and Brian (Kerrina) Arnsdorf of Queen Creek, Aeiz.; along with many dearly loved nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, David and Alva Arnsdorf.
In lieu of flowers, it was Diane’s request that memorials be directed to: Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, 4604 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407; or Breckenridge 846 Education Foundation (make check payable to West Central Initiative with “Breckenridge 846 Education Foundation” in memo field), P.O. Box 318, Fergus Falls, MN 56538-0318; or Glenwood Lutheran Church, 206 Minnesota Ave East, Glenwood, MN 56334.
To send online condolences to the family, visit hoplinhitchcockfuneralhome.com.