Clem Dinger

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 2:43 pm

Clem Dinger, 99, of Decorah, died Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, at Wellington Place Nursing Home in Decorah. Services were at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, at Glenwood Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Pastor Rev. Stacey Nalean – Carlson officiating. Pianist was Kathy Tollefsrud. Soloist was Brandi Hemesath (“Old Rugged Cross” and “How Great Thou Art”). Hymns were “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” Interment was at Pontoppidan Cemetery in Decorah. Honorary casket bearers were all of Clem’s step-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Casket bearers were Charles Dinger, Kevin Gilbertson, Mike Onsager, Jay Dansdill, Brady Sorum and Paul Sorum. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home, Decorah.

Clem Richard Dinger was born June 25, 1915, the son of Richard and Clara (Madson) Dinger in Bluffton. Clem attended rural country schools and farmed. He was united in marriage to Tina Invick Oct. 14, 1935. He worked at Rath Packing in Cedar Rapids for a short time and for 45 years he was the Watkins dealer in Allamakee and Winneshiek Counties. He farmed in Glenwood Township for many years and loved spending time in the woods. Clem also helped to dig many graves in the area by hand and mow at Phelps Cemetery. After Tina died in 1984, he was married to Ruth Spilde in Aug. of 1987, at the Decorah Lutheran Church. Over the years, Clem liked to rattlesnake, ginseng and mushroom hunt. He enjoyed life; he lived as a free spirit and was a kind, generous, loving man. He loved music and loved to dance, doing jigs and to play cards. He was a member of the Glenwood Lutheran Church. 

Clem is survived by his special step-daughter, Mary (Bill) Rechkemmer, Waverly, as well as several nieces, nephews and great-nieces andnephews; 16 step-grandchildren: Mary Lou (Dave) Sorum, Mike (Sara) Onsager, Jim (Martha) Alm, Bob (Evonne) Alm, Deb (Bill) Hoffman, Sonja Sersland, Ondra Gilbertson, Gary (Pauline) Gilbertson, Greg (Ann) Gilbertson, Kevin (Laurann) Gilbertson, Keith (Tammie) Gilbertson, Donna Chesmore, Carl (Mary) Einck, Becky (Rob) Dalessandro, Craig (Kristine) Kroupa, and Jeff Kroupa; as well as many step-great-grandchildren and step-great-great-grandchildren.

Clem was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Clara (Madson) Dinger; two wives, Tina (Invick) Dinger in 1984 and Ruth (Spilde) Dinger in 2009; one daughter, Conda Dinger in infancy; three siblings: Lucille (Casper) Olson, Clem’s twin, Claude (Luella) Dinger and Lloyd (Eleanor) Dinger; his step-children: Lucille (Marvin) Onsager, Gail (Jim) Alm, Viola (Orville) Gilbertson, Iola (Nathan) Groff, Sally (Hank) Ganrud, Tom (Marie) Horan, Don Horan and Dodie (Bob) Kroupa; five step-grandchildren: Barbara Johnson, Radine Adam, Orville Gilbertson, Jr., Don Horan and Bobby Kroupa.

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