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The Inspiration of a Lifetime: Karl Hoecke

If you know the Hoecke family, you know that Karl is the inspiration behind a lifelong journey for WC and Catherine. As 2022 comes to an end, it's an appropriate time to celebrate Karl and learn a little more about the purpose of Harmony Christian Community.


Five questions with Karl


What's one of the best things you remember about growing up?

My grandfather would take our families to Deer Valley Ranch. We would go down to the corral, pick out a horse or a mule, and we would have riding lessons. By the end of the week, we would ride up into the Colorado Mountains and the chalk cliffs. It was the first time I was able to be like a cowboy, and it was so beautiful. I loved it, and it was there that I decided I would be a farmer and rancher.


Barclay school was a private school for kids with disabilities. I learned how to farm chickens, hogs, goats, rabbits and horses. We learned to garden using rabbit poop for fertilizer.


This year, I learned farming at a farm that has hydroponics and aquaponics.


What's your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Research on the Internet and find library books about farming or superheroes.


What do you like about working at Riverbanks Zoo?

I love and enjoy working with my fellow employees, hanging out with animals and stocking toys in the gift shop.


What do you wish everyone else understood about those who have a diagnosis - like you have Down syndrome?

My definition is that I can do most things everyone else can do, but it might take me a bit longer. Sometimes I wish people would be more patient. I think everyone should slow down a bit and take it easy.


What makes you most excited when you think about living in a community like Harmony?

Being a part of farming and doing it with my friends and family, and finding other kinds of jobs like art work, pottery or fixing things like furniture.


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