Duane and Loretta Charles welcomed their firstborn on February 13th, 1956. Debbie was Roberta and Allen’s big sister.
They grew up on the family’s dairy farm north of Flagler with most mornings starting with a hug from Grandpa Cecil. Following in her Dad’s footsteps, a bit of mischief was always a possibility. Her childhood was surrounded by her aunts, uncles and cousins which led to close bonds still celebrated at the cousin reunions and visits even on her last day.
In her early adulthood she was blessed with three children ~ Stephen Duane, Lisa Louise and Kimberly Ann. The bond between the four of them was unique and never wavered through time nor miles or even death.
Debbie married Rod Diekman in September of 1994. Together they went from her working for Cargil and him UPS to operating a farm which was started by Rod’s dad Richard. They were able to add to it growing a variety of crops. There was great pride in sharing space in the harvest field together: Debbie in her combine and Rod bouncing from truck to mechanic to her buddy seat. Rod came into Debbie’s life bringing a strength that supported her through some of her hardest times.
Debbie was well known for her beautiful big, blue eyes, big heart, and quiet demeanor. She was a life-long learner sharing her kindness and compassion with all she met which led to many life-long friends. She chose to share her talents, time, and love with others through the years listening to elementary students read and give spelling words, listening to AWANA kids recite Bible verses to earn patches and helping with VBS, leading exercise classes at The Legacy, preparing taxes through Colorado East Community Action Agency’s free tax clinics, as a county election judge processing ballots and checking in voters, and so many other activities.
Debbie went home to be with her Lord on July 9, 2023. She didn’t intend to give up; she didn’t intend to give in. No, she fought hard. The colon cancer could not be overcome.
Debbie was preceded by her daughter Kimberly Benson, father Duane Charles, father-in-law Richard Diekman, paternal grandparents Esther and Cecil Charles, maternal grandparents Mary and Lester Loutzenhiser and many aunts, uncles and friends that were like family.
Left to cherish her memory and share her legacy are her husband Rod Diekman; son Stephen Benson; daughter Lisa (Shawn) Shryock granddaughters Taylor Ann and Tatiana; stepson Tanner James Diekman (Amanda) and grandchildren Kashlyn, Liv and Colt; mother Loretta Charles; brother Allen (Lora) Charles; sister Roberta (Carlin) Stratton; nieces and nephews Zach Stratton; Christina (Kyle) English; Weston (Jessica) Charles and kids Landon, Luke and Layna; Lyndee (Kyler) Lum and Jordy; Olivia (Blake) Ridgway, along with many cousins and friends that loved her.
Memorial contributions may be designated to In Christ Ministries and may be left at the services or mailed to Koons-Russell Funeral Home, 211 N. Main Ave., Goodland, KS 67735.