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Indiana University Northwest

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IU Northwest mourns the loss of Physical Plant employee Dianne Cutler

Cutler had worked for the past 24 years as the grounds supervisor

Dianne Cutler

IU Northwest File Photo
Dianne Cutler

Indiana University Northwest regretfully announced today, Monday April 25, the passing of grounds supervisor Dianne Cutler, age 56, of Chesterton, Ind. Cutler passed away on Saturday, April 23, 2011.

Cutler had been employed with IU Northwest for nearly 25 years, where her daily responsibilities included grounds management. She, along with her team of three other employees, stayed busy beautifying the Northwest campus by cutting grass and planting trees and flowers.

Cutler was also responsible for trash and snow removal, and, in early February, was one of the many Physical Plant employees who were put to test with the blizzard conditions that hammered Northwest Indiana and closed IU Northwest for two days.

“Often when it snowed, Dianne, and the rest of the Physical Plant crew, would show up (to campus) at 3 a.m. to get started clearing,” said Director of Physical Plant Otto Jefimenko. “The team is the reason the parking lots are cleared and ready in time for the campus.”

Jefimenko also acknowledged Cutler as one of the main reasons the IU Northwest campus is often recognized system-wide for its attractive appearance.

"Dianne was constantly working, and out on campus making sure that her crew was also working to keep the place looking good,” Jefimenko said. “Many, many people have come to visit from other campuses, like Bloomington or IUPUI, and they always say we (IU Northwest) are one of the best-looking campuses in the system.”

While Jefimenko acknowledges that the news of Cutler’s passing is very difficult, he takes comfort in the many memories that he, as well as her colleagues, share as campus reminders of their lost friend.

“I will always think of her each spring; that’s the time when the campus really starts to bloom and starts looking its best,” Jefimenko said.

Cutler leaves behind her husband and three children; two sons and a daughter. For a short period, Cutler’s daughter followed in her mother’s footsteps by working as a custodial worker for the campus.

Jefimenko shared that, while traveling was not one of her favored hobbies, as reading was, Dianne did travel from time to time to visit her children who lived out-of-state.

“The week before she got sick she was down in Austin, Texas, visiting her son, and last year she went to visit her daughter in California,” he said.  

IU Northwest extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dianne Cutler.

Cutler’s family wishes not to have a public service but friends and colleagues can send cards directly to Otto Jefimenko at the Physical Plant.


Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing and Communications

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