Ed Fenner, 65


After a private six-month battle with cancer, Ed Fenner found eternal peace on Sunday, Apr. 11, 2021, while surrounded by the love and care of his family at home at the age of 65.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Apr. 17, at Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell. The service will be livestreamed on the Smith Funeral Home Facebook page beginning at 10:15 a.m. Interment will be in Westfield Cemetery south of Grinnell. A reception will follow at the Eagles in Grinnell.

Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday at Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell, and his family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to Poweshiek County 4-H and mailed in care of Smith Funeral Home, PO Box 368, Grinnell, IA 50112. Memories and condolences may be shared with Ed’s family online at smithfh.com.

Edward Alan Fenner was born the oldest of five children to Charles and Marilyn (Henchel) Fenner on Sept. 3, 1955, in Grinnell. He attended and graduated from the Grinnell-Newburg School District in 1973. He went on to follow his father’s footsteps as a lifelong farmer, and it was the joy of his life to tend his father’s family farm in Lynnville. He worked for Poweshiek County Soil Commission, Golden Sun Feed, and Iowa Telecom. He eventually retired from the Grinnell-Newburg School District, where he enjoyed getting to know 10 years’ worth of students, supporting the district’s sports teams, forging new friendships, and keeping a close eye on Emily and Case. He was an avid outdoorsman, and some of his favorite moments were the ones spent hunting, fishing, trapping, and golfing with friends he made across the country. He loved spending quality time with his kids on the farm while farrowing and raising show pigs and will be remembered fondly by the Poweshiek County and Iowa State Fair 4-H and FFA associations.

Above all, Ed will be remembered as a devoted son, a proud steward of the land he so deeply respected, and the best dad and grandpa. He was full of life and love, even in his final moments. His huge smile, contagious laugh, and selfless kindness will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.

Ed is survived by his mother, Marilyn Fenner of Grinnell; his wife of 27 years, Diana Fenner of Grinnell; and his five kids: Joe (Beth) Fenner of Grinnell, Elana (Ira Wiley) Fenner of Rome, TX, Lindsey (Jeff) Kirkland of St. Cloud, MN, Emily Fenner of Grinnell, and Case Fenner of Iowa City; his three grandchildren: Noah Wiley, Madelyn Fenner, and Charly Fenner, and he was so excited to learn he had another on the way this September; his four siblings: Carl, Connie, Mike, and Perry Fenner; many in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews; and so many lifetime friends. He also leaves behind his dog, Charley, who was his loyal hunting companion over the past 13 years and who never left his side. He was preceded in death by his father, Charles, who we know he was thrilled to finally be reunited with; his uncle, Clair Fenner; and his mother-in-law, Maridean Tharp, whom he loved and missed dearly.

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