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Clarence H. Doerning 1912-2013

December 31, 2013
Emmetsburg News

A Funeral Mass for Clarence H. Doerning of Emmetsburg was held Saturday, December 28, 2013 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Emmetsburg. Burial was in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Ayrshire.

Clarence H. Doerning peacefully departed this life at PARC Hall on December 24, 2013, at the age of 101years and 7 months.

Clarence was born in Cylinder, IA, May 11, 1912, to Arnold and Agnes Doerning. He was the first of their six children. His brothers and sisters include: Bernard (deceased, in action during WW II), Rosella Graettinger (deceased), Henry (deceased), Mel who lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife Madeleine, and Gayle Eral, who resides in the Spirit Lake area with her husband, Lee.

In 1931, Mr. Doerning graduated from Graettinger High School and began a long and successful farming career. He initially worked on the Arnold Doerning family farm in Graettinger, IA. In 1939, Mr. Doerning moved to his farm near Mallard, IA. Clarence married Aileen Duffy, his high school classmate, in September 1940, at the Assumption Parish, Emmetsburg, IA, and now known as Holy Family Parish. The couple farmed with Thomas and Mamie Duffy, Aileen's parents, from 1940 to 1952, as their family farms were located near one another. Clarence states, "The highpoint in my farming career was the ownership of 400 acres of prime Iowa farmland." Clarence continued farming until his retirement in 1975.

Clarence and Aileen had four children and later became grandparents to six grandchildren. Their family includes: Mary Kay Doerning-Dittberner and her husband, Jerry, and their children Matt and Brigitte, living in the Washington, D.C. area and daughter Colleen Dittberner and her husband, Bob Spears, residing in Southern California with Clarence's twin great-grandsons, Robby and Tommy Spears; Patrick Doerning and his wife, Sara; and Greg Doerning, living in the Washington, D.C. area; and Julie Doerning-Krenn and children, Camille, Peter, and Nancy residing in the Twin Cities area.

Mr. and Mrs. Doerning were members of St. Mary's Catholic Parish, in Mallard, for over 50 years. They were active and contributing members to various committees during these years. In 1990, the couple celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary at the parish hall.

Clarence and Aileen traveled extensively throughout the United States, including Hawaii. Their international travel was comprised of visits to Austria, France, Germany, Ireland and Italy. Clarence stated, "The decision to retire in 1975 was ideal as we were able to travel while we were healthy." On March 31, 1991, Aileen entered into her eternal rest.

The couple and their children were active in Palo Alto County Girls and Boys 4-H clubs for many years. Their family homestead was chosen as an outstanding model of a successful farming operation by the Palo Alto County Farm Bureau during the late 1950s. The Doernings welcomed members of the Farm Bureau as they toured the farm, observed the 4-H cattle and 4-H home furnishing projects that would soon be exhibited at the Palo Alto County Fair. For several years, Mr. Doerning also served on the Ellington Township Election Board in Palo Alto County.

Clarence and Aileen enjoyed the friendship of numerous friends, neighbors, and relatives in addition to frequently entertaining guests in their home throughout their married life. Their children give them great credit, not only for providing undergraduate and graduate level educations that have led to rewarding personal and professional lives but also to providing a wonderful, stable, consistent family life, for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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