Dennis H. Smeins, 70

Dennis H. Smeins, 70, of Gilman, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, February 11, 2017, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center.

Funeral services for Dennis will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018, at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Jeff Kodis officiating. Public visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 16, 2018, at Mitchell Family Funeral Home. In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed in Dennis’s name to his family, which will be later designated elsewhere.

For further information or to send a condolence please visit or call (641)-844-1234. Mitchell Family Funeral Home is caring for Dennis and his family.

Dennis Smeins, long time Marshalltown Business owner, Dennis Henry Smeins was born January 10, 1948, in Greene, Iowa, the son of Henry and Alice (Freeseman) Smeins. Dennis spent his childhood years on his parents’ acreage along the bank of the Shellrock River, a place that defined much of the rest of his life, through his wandering, fishing and hunting along the river. He embraced Mark Twain’s quote, “I never allowed school to get in the way of my education.” Work also defined him early on. By age 14 he began working 2 jobs: after school and weekends at a grocery store, and evenings at a small fishing tackle manufacturer, which provided him a life-long pastime of lure making and fly tying. From age 11 to 14 he was active in Boy Scouts, where he was Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Order of the Arrow and achieved the level of Life. Leaving scouting in favor of nightly employment before earning the Eagle Scout Award was one of his life’s few regrets.

After graduating from Greene High School, Class of ’66, he became employed at Fisher Controls in Marshalltown, and he remained there 21 years, earning Journeyman status. On April 6, 1968, he was joined in marriage to Phyllis Milhous, of Marshalltown. The steadfast marriage was blessed with two daughters.

The young family took annual trips to northern Minnesota, as well as numerous trips to mountain states. In the 70’s and early 80’s, Dennis enjoyed landscape painting and freelance writing for outdoor magazines.

In 1984, he and Phyllis purchased Teager’s Art and Frame Shoppe, a small part-time business. It was a dream come true for him. Soon a decision was made to leave his employment and change the business’ name to 9th Street Gallery & Frame. Over the years the close life-long relationships they established with so many customers was his greatest reward of being in business. Located blocks from downtown, malls and traffic, where customers could have lots of time to chat. They continued operating it for 29 years until their retirement.

Dennis loved family gatherings; on their life-long annual family trips to Minnesota, at grandchildren’s events or with one of his five grandchildren at his fly-tying bench in his legendary fishing memorabilia room. He was a member of First United Methodist Church, numerous conservation organizations and was a proud member of The Diehards Club for many years.

He leaves behind his wife and best friend of 49 years; their two devoted daughters and sons-in-law, Sarah and Chuck Augustine, of Cedar Rapids, and their children: Maia, Landon and Logan; Laurel and Matt Hibbard, of North Liberty, and their daughters Clara and Emmalyn; a sister Betty Nikolas; brother Craig Smeins; and four nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister, a brother-in-law Frank Nikolas and his life-long hunting, camping and canoeing buddy, Gary Trickey.