Online rosary

Schmitz Funeral Home Obituary – James Stephen Denning, 98, Houghton

James Stephen Denning98, of Houghton, Iowa, passed away peacefully on Monday August 8, 2022 at the Savannah Heights Care Center in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

He was born August 3, 1924 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Fort Madison, the son of Joe and Nellie (Freesmeier) Denning. On April 3, 1945, he married Majorie Stenger at Fort Madison. Together they had three children: Tim, Monica and Mike. Marjorie died in 1950 shortly after the birth of their son, Mike. The following year Jim married Marjorie’s sister, Eileen Stenger, on April 7, 1951, and they had seven children.

Jim is survived by seven children: Tim (Sharon) Denning of Houghton, Monica Gallagher of Schaumburg, Illinois, Mike (Sally) Denning of Houghton, Marilyn (Glen) Starkey of Mount Pleasant, Linda (Sam) Baxter of Fort Madison, Sam (Kim) Denning of Spring Hill, Kansas and Philip (Jackie) Denning of Houghton; daughter-in-law: Patsy Kruse of Houghton; twenty-nine grandchildren; fifty-one great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; sisters: Phyllis (Paul) Steffensmeier of Donnellson and Sister Jane Denning of the Convent of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Many nieces and nephews also survive.

He was predeceased by his wives: Marjorie and Eileen; two daughters: Dianne Denning and Pat Sallee; son: David Denning; granddaughter: Darcy Denning; great-granddaughter: Abby Denning; parents: Joe and Nellie Denning; brother: Reverend Jack Denning; sisters: Ruth (Pete) Mertens and Laverne (Vernon) Coffey.

Jim graduated from Saint John’s School in Houghton and was a dairy farmer for many years. He was a member of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Houghton and a founding member of the Houghton Knights of Columbus, where he was a former Grand Knight. He was also a 4th degree member of Gallitzin 0278 Assembly of Fort Madison. In retirement, Jim enjoyed visiting his children and grandchildren and especially enjoyed sitting on his porch to greet neighbors and friends.

Visitation will begin at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, August 18, 2022, at Saint John’s Catholic Church in Houghton, where family will receive friends from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A parish rosary will be recited at 4:00 p.m. pm and a Christian wake-up service will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the church.

A Christian Burial Mass will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday August 19, 2022 at Saint John’s Catholic Church in Houghton with Father Dan Dorau officiating.

Interment will be in Saint John Cemetery, Houghton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his memory at Holy Trinity Catholic Schools, Saint John Catholic Church, or the Houghton Knights of Columbus.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at Schmitz Funeral Home in West Point is helping the family make arrangements.


King Lynk Funeral Home,


James Stephen Denning,


Pen City Current,