Dennis G. Zornig

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Dennis G. Zornig

April 20, 1941 - November 03, 2018

Dennis G. Zornig Dennis G. Zornig, 77, of Clinton, passed away, Saturday, November 3, 2018 at his home.

Funeral Services will be 10:30am, Friday, November 9, 2018 at the Clinton Chapel Snell-Zornig Funeral Homes and Crematory. Burial will be in Springdale Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Richard Rausenberger, Tom Tegeler, Gary VandeKamp, Ron Kircher, Larry Howe, Donald Putnam, Steve Sellergren, Jami Tack and Ryan Veenstra. Honorary pallbearers will be Aaron Cousins, Tom Hesselmann, Roger Hill, Tom Kelly, John DeWitt, Herman Dierks, Gene Siefken, Gilbert Leslie, Tom Krueger, Ron McGauvran, Dale Trott, Dick Farwell, Tom Timion, Mary Rupp and Mike Rupp. Visitation will be Thursday from 4:00pm-7:00pm at the funeral home with a 7:00 pm Rose Croix service. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting his obituary at

Dennis Gene Zornig was born April 20, 1941 in Rock Rapids, Iowa, the son of Marvin and Dorothy (Huisman) Zornig. He married Sue Baker on June 10, 1972 in Moline, Illinois. Together, they had two children, Matthew and Jennifer. Dennis and Sue divorced in 2006.

Dennis grew up on a farm in Lyon County with his younger sister, Diane, and attended Allison #4 school in Rural Lyon County through middle school. It was a one room rural school, and he always took great pride in telling his children and grandchildren that he was second in his class! Many years later they learned there was only two children in his gradeĀ… Dennis graduated in the last class from Rock Rapids High School in 1959, attended the University of Montana from 1959 1961, and then earned a bachelors degree in mortuary science from the University of Minnesota in June of 1963.

Dennis came to Clinton in July 1963 to apprentice at the Snell-Smith Funeral Home. He received his Iowa Funeral Directors license in 1964. He was only going to stay one year at the Snell-Smith Funeral Home, but came to love Clinton and his job, and never left. Dennis became a partner in 1972 and sole owner of the funeral home in 1988. He retired in December of 2016 after over 50 years at the Snell-Zornig Funeral Homes and Crematory.

Dennis enjoyed fishing, hunting, golfing and playing poker (Texas Holdem was his game). He grew up fishing with his father on Otter Tail Lake in Minnesota and, later, took his young family to northern Wisconsin every summer for vacation. It was there that Dennis caught his world record Muskie, a fond memory for the family. Dennis love of the outdoors took him on fishing and hunting trips to Alaska, Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Western U.S.. Later in his life he enjoyed golfing with his buddies on Tuesdays and Thursdays, was a past member of the Clinton Country Club and Valley Oaks, and was fortunate to hit a hole-in-one on Hole #8 at Valley Oaks. Dennis enjoyed telling jokes and had a very distinct laugh, people always knew if he was at a function or party when they heard his laugh.

Dennis loved to travel with many trips overseas including a special trip with his daughter and son to Germany in 2012 where they explored their roots. He and his children, and his grandson Jack, were avid Cubs fans and had a chance to attend games together and relish the 2016 World Series. Dennis also loved the Packers and Hawkeyes along with his son Matt, and they enjoyed watching and bantering about each game. He also loved his daily walks down along the river in Clinton. Dennis grew very close to his sister Diane later in life; they talked almost daily and enjoyed many laughs and visits.

Dennis was a member of many community and civic organizations, including: the First United Methodist Church Clinton, the Lyons County Historical Society, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the North American Hunting Club. He was a longtime member and Paul Harris Fellow of the Clinton Rotary Club, member of the 29 Club of Clinton, Western Star#100, Scottish Rite Bodies, KAABA Shrine, High Twelve Club, Izaak Walton League, Clinton Moose Club #363, Boone and Crockett Club, SCI First for Hunters, Wildlife Forever and the Gamma Pi Chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. He also strongly supported the Sawmill Museum in Clinton.

Dennis is survived by his two children: Matthew Zornig of Iowa City, Iowa and Jennifer (Quintin) Harris of Shorewood, Minnesota; three grandsons: Keegan, Finn, and Jack Harris of Shorewood, Minnesota; sister: Diane Friesner of Esterville, Iowa; and niece and nephew: Ben (Katie) Clark of Frisco, Texas and Katie Quiring of Spirit Lake, Iowa, and great nieces and nephews: Andrew and Cale Quiring, and Brady and Grace Clark.

He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant sister.

Memorials may be made to the Sawmill Museum of Clinton.
Published on November 5, 2018
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