Dennis Elden Dornink, our leader, our backbone, our prayer warrior and our strenth beyond words left this world for heaven Sunday, June 16. He was our ever-present guide, confidant, rock and patient supporter. His love for family, friends and clients was beyond measure. Everyone who knew him loved his soft-spoken, calm demeanor that would show God’s love in his every action. He always put others first, giving his all until the day of his death.
He met his wife of almost 50 years in Sunday School in a small church in Greenleafton, Minn. The moment that dark-haired girl with freckles named Faythe walked in, he was smitten. He always said even at six years old, he knew she was the one. By the time they were married in 1969, they had been together for almost 14 years. He graduated from Central College and began work at Valley National Bank as a loan officer and branch manager. Dennis served in the Army as Military Police during the Vietnam War, and while he was never deployed, he served locally in the Iowa National Guard on the weekends.
Following completion of six years of military service he was employed at Meredith Employee Credit Union as a manager. At age 30, he felt called to the ministry. After some soul searching and travel, he obtained his Master’s Degree in Counseling from Drake University. Dennis helped thousands of people as a therapist both in private practice and with Employee Family Resources. He retired from EFR in 2013 and continued to see clients at Compass Clinical Associates until his death. He said he never wanted to retire form his work as a counselor because he said he still had so much to give. His pasison for counseling was only surpassed by his love for his family and music. He loved spending time with his family, teaching his grandkids to hunt, fish, sing and play the guitar. In the past five years he has writtenmany songs about the road to heaven and the love of Jesus.
He is survived by his wife Faythe, and children Rachel Anna Maassen (husband Jeff Maassen and grandchildren Henry, Lucy and Margaret), Sarah Ellen Clutts (Aaron Clutts and grandchildren Elsie and Olive), and Micheael James Dornink. Dennis was a loving father and grandfather to not only his biological family but to so many others, including Miki and Ami Nonaka-Ishikawa, Romy Lincoln and Sidney Shaffer-Allen, Valarie Oberender, and Harley and Destani Rogers.
Memorial services were held at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines on June 19 at 11 a.m., with visitation at 10 a.m. Charitable gifts can be made to the Dennis Dornink Memorial Fund at 5601 Kingman Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50311.