Donald Cornish, Age 88

Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Cornish, Don.tif

Donald Cornish of rural Ireton, Iowa, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, April 21, at Hawarden Regional Healthcare in Hawarden, Iowa.

Due to state and federal guidance on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private family graveside service will take place at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery – Preston Township, rural Akron, Iowa, with Reverend Trish Underberg officiating.  Military honors will be provided by the Hoschler American Legion Post 186 in Akron. Public viewing, with no family present, and limited to 10 people at a time practicing social distancing, will be at the Rexwinkel Funeral Home in Le Mars from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020. Arrangements are with the Rexwinkel Funeral Home in Le Mars. Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.rexwinkelfh.com. 

Memorials can be made in Don’s name to St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery – Preston Township, rural Akron, Iowa.

Donald Dean Cornish was born April 2, 1932 in rural Hawarden, Iowa, the son of Lucian and Irene (Borchers) Cornish. He attended country school until moving to California while his dad worked in the factories and shipyard during World War II. Upon returning to Iowa and the farm, he attended Hawarden High School where he excelled in football as their starting running back and were conference champions. He also ran track and a 10.3 100-yard dash.

He was united in marriage to Donna Rae Pendleton on June 1, 1952 and went on to serve in the United States Navy from August 26, 1952 until his honorable discharge on June 26, 1954.

Upon his return from the service, he started farming with his family, using his innovative way of farming practice. He put up terraces, contour farmed, and rotated crops. He raised both cattle and hogs with the help of his four sons.

In 1974, his second eldest son, Curtis was killed in a very bad car accident. In 1976, after continued hard times for farming, drought, and low commodity prices, he turned over the farming business to his boys and purchased Lawrence Muth Caterpillar and excavation business.

In the early 1980’s due to a car accident of his own and declining health, Don started to slow down and retired in 1992, leaving the farming business to Barry and the Cat business to Greg.

Don was a lifelong and active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church – Preston Township. He served as President of the Hawarden Gun Club and was an avid trap shooter. He also enjoyed taking the family out fishing on the Missouri River for walleye on his Lund boat. On a rainy day, Don enjoyed his trips to Ireton to catch up with pals at Jacks Feed Store. He also liked to play cards and was pretty darn good at it. But most of all, he enjoyed the times spent with his family, his children, and grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife of over 67 years, Donna Rae Cornish of rural Ireton; three sons: Greg (Doris) Cornish of Akron, Iowa, Barry Cornish of Craig, Iowa, and Bruce (Phayvanh) Cornish of Sioux Falls, S.D.; eight grandchildren: BJ Cornish, Brett (Dana) Cornish, Jessica Cornish, Justin Cornish, Tony (Thumm) Chounramany, Tiffany Chounramany, Gema (Dan) Gutierrez, and Curtis Cornish; five great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law: Chris Cornish of Milwaukee, WI; and two nieces and two nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son, Curt Cornish; his parents, Lucian and Irene Cornish; his father- and mother-in-law: Vern and Minnie (Utesch) Pendleton; his brother, Darrell Cornish; and sister-in-law and her husband, Imogene (Don) Dickman.

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