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Obituaries - March 04, 2023

Dr. Robert Wayne Plinke

Robert (Bob) Wayne Plinke, a great protector and advocate for at-risk children at lakeside, died February 25 at age 77.

pg12aA trauma-certified physician for 35 years, Bob lost his own mother when he was 13, and had always planned to do missionary work with children at some point in his life.

In 2010, Bob left his lifetime career as an ER doctor, along with his wife Becky, an ER nurse. They came to Mexico to do a ministry for homeless children.  La Ola Orphanage in Chapala started that same year.

Bob’s tireless efforts to provide a home for homeless Mexican girls has been the foundation for the new La Ola home in Chapala that will house up to 100 girls at one time.

He was dearly loved by Becky, family, friends, and over 300 Mexican children he helped over the past 13 years.  His wife will continue the work that they shared.

Bob enjoyed cooking, baseball, football, skiing, chess and flying. He was fluent in English, Spanish  and German.

He will be greatly missed by his community.

Bob is survived by a loving family, including children Jennifer, Jeff and Jennia; stepchildren Jonathan, Jason and Abby; adopted children Esme, Chuy, Jessica, Mili and Evelyn; ten grandchildren; brother Ken and sister Coco; as well as the children of La Ola who all saw him as a father.

Those who wish to remember Bob and his work are invited at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 17 to an “Evening with Bob’s stories” at Privada Libertad 26 in San Antonio Tlayacapan, and a memorial service on Saturday, March 18, 3 p.m. to be held on the La Ola property at Cebollitas 18 in Chapala (turn on the road across from El Perico. The home is located behind the Media Park). Phone: 331-796-8728.  If you would like to donate in honor of Bob’s life ministry, go to laolacasahogar.org.


Diane Schmidt

pg12bAjijic resident Diane Schmidt died in Chicago on January 20 at the age of 77, surrounded by good friends and family.  

Diane bought a house in Ajijic in 2003 and visited often when the property wasn’t rented out. She made a permanent move here in 2017, after she retired from her Juice Plus business.   

One of Diane’s favorite activities in her younger years was ballroom dancing, in which she excelled, winning many competitions.  

When in Ajijic, she substituted dancing for long daily walks and yoga. She also immersed herself in activities she always wanted to experience but never had the time, such as participating in Roseann Wilshere’s drama workshops. A keen gardener, Diane was a member of the Garden Club and volunteered for many charities, including the Tepehua neighborhood program.  

Diane was a good friend to all and always exuded a positive attitude throughout her life, even in her latter years when her physical conditions worsened following complications and surgeries stemming from celiac disease. “I loved how down to earth she was … and her ‘yes can do’ attitude to life’s challenges,” one friend said.

She is survived by her brothers Joe Schmidt (Terri),  Mark Schmidt (Teresa) and Ray Schmidt (Shelly); 12 nephews and nieces; her two best friends, Judy Fulmer and Anita Balodis, who shared taking care of her during long stays in the Chicago area; and many friends in the Lake Chapala area.

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