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Diane Butke

Death Notice
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BUTKE Colonel DIANE BUTKE (Ret.) Died December 29, 2011 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, following a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Diane was born in 1939 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Elmer and Norma Ankerson. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1961, earning her nursing degree. Following graduation, she worked in Southern California at several health facilities. In 1963, she began a four year assignment as a civilian nurse at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, California. In 1967, she joined the Army, and following a brief orientation and training period, was soon deployed to Vietnam, working first at an Army hospital in Saigon, then moving to the 71st Evacuation Hospital at Pleiku. Upon her return from Vietnam, she was assigned to Fort Detrick, Maryland, followed by an assignment to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 1973, she attended the Officer Advanced Course in San Antonio, Texas, where she met her future husband, Ken Butke, a fellow Army officer. She was next assigned to the University of Washington, where she earned a Masters Degree in Nursing. Diane and Ken were married in Akron, Ohio in 1975, and they both then served at the 2nd General Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, where Diane worked in intensive care. She was then assigned as Director of the Intensive Care Nurse Course, followed by an assignment as an intensive care nurse at the Army Community Hospital at Fort Ord, California. In 1983, she was assigned to the Surgeon General's Office in Washington, D.C., initially serving as a member of the Quality Assurance team, followed by an appointment as Assistant Chief, Department of Nursing. In 1988, she was appointed Medical Nursing Consultant to the Army Surgeon General and Consultant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. In 1992, she retired from the Army. After retirement, she worked in a variety of volunteer and honorary positions, all for the benefit of the Wounded Warriors, military nursing, and women in the military. Her work for the Walter Reed Society benefited hundreds of severely injured Service members and their families. She devoted countless hours to the Women's Military Memorial and the Army Nurse Corps Association. Colonel Butke is survived by her husband of 36 years, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Ken Butke, her sister Gail Ankerson of Franklin, Wisconsin, her sister-in-law, Mischelle Ankerson of Raleigh, North Carolina, and her nephew, Jim Ankerson, also of Raleigh. She was preceeded in death by her parents, Norma and Elmer Ankerson, and by her brother, Michael Ankerson. Graveside funeral services with full military honors are scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, at 3 p.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. Family and friends wishing to attend should be at the Administration Building no later than 2:30 p.m. A reception will follow at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Donations in her memory may be made to the Walter Reed Society, 8901 Wisconsin Ave #303, Bethesda MD 20889-5600 (walterreedsociety.org), Army Nurse Corps Association, PO Box 39235, San Antonio TX 78218-1235,or the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation, 1735 Connecticut Ave NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 (vietnamwomensmemorial.org)

Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 15, 2012
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