November 25, 2014 - June 4, 2020


Grace Lorraine Dirkes, 5, died from complications of sepsis and bone marrow failure on June 4, 2020 at St. Cloud Hospital.

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine on November 25, 2014, Gracie found love, life, and family when she was adopted by her parents, Kelly and Kyle Dirkes, on October 8, 2015.

Known as “Bird” to those who knew her best, Gracie was a snuggly, happy, tiny soul who embraced the many challenges life handed her with her signature tenacity. She loved her “people” well—her best friend Isaac, her biggest bestie Amanda, her beloved Ra-Ra, her ever present home care nursing team (Kayla, Kady, Tasha, and Joelle), and her doting sister Lulu. She found joy in snuggles with her Mama, dragging her blankie everywhere, playing with her puppy Fred, and watching Signing Time and Sesame Street. She even taught a few people to (reluctantly) tolerate Baby Shark.

Gracie is survived by her Mama and Dada, and sisters Charlotte, Louisa, and Margaret. She is also survived by her grandparents Rae and James Kohut, Tammy Wadja, and Valeria and Stephen Kral. She was met with joy in Heaven by her grandfather, Roger Dirkes, and great-grandfather Joseph Kohut.

In lieu of flowers, Gracie’s family requests donations in her honor to the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Pain and Palliative Care clinic—the team that worked so hard to give her quality of life for the last 4.5 years.

Due to COVID, her family is hosting a private graveside service on June 10, 2020. When restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so, her family plans to hold a party to properly celebrate Gracie’s amazing life. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Becker.