MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hospital workers across central Minnesota are mourning the loss of a colleague, friend and father.

Forty-seven-year-old Todd Steinke died on Saturday after he dove into a lake and broke his neck.

He had just been named CentraCare’s vice president of philanthropy and community last month.

“He was a person who put his heart in everything he did,” CentraCare Hospitals President Craig Broman said.

Steinke’s employees turned on the lights to his office in his honor, which they will leave them on all week.

“It’s been difficult for our foundation staff and the leadership of the organization because of the character of Todd,” Broman said.

Broman and Steinke had been friends for more than 20 years. The last time Broman saw his friend and co-worker was on Friday, when Steinke came to work with a bag of Dilly Bars.

“And he was handing them out to people and celebrating his promotion as the vice president of the CentraCare Foundation,” Broman said.

Steinke was with his family at a cabin on Cable Lake in Mentor Saturday. At one point he dove into shallow water, hit his head on the bottom and did not move.

Two family members pulled him from the lake, but he died almost instantly. An autopsy showed Steinke broke his neck.

Friends say Steinke was a great husband to his wife, Cindy, and a great father to his daughter, Lauren.

Broman says Steinke took pride in watching his daughter’s success in track and field, and his family is remembering him as her biggest fan.

“I believe they have had remarkable strength through this very terrible, tragic deal,” Broman said.

He says Steinke was an exceptional athlete himself. His funeral will be on Friday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud.

Steinke’s employees are trying to think of several ways they can honor his memory. One way may be to create a fund to help his daughter with her athletic pursuits.

They may also organize a golf event, or some type of sporting event in his honor.

John Lauritsen

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