Dean Ordell Garness, 67, of Red Wing, died Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester.

He was born Aug. 5, 1946, to Ordell and Marjorie Garness in Lanesboro. Raised on a farm near Lenora, he was a graduate of Mabel-Canton High School, a member of the class of 1964. After high school, he worked as a fire protection sprinkler fitter.

He married Sonja Engan on Sept. 13, 1969, at Henrytown Lutheran Church in rural Canton.

He was employed by Viking Automatic Sprinkler Company until 1985 and became a business agent for Union Local 669. He and his wife moved to Washington, D.C., in 1988 when he became president of the union. He served as the union's president until 1997. He returned to Minnesota in 1999 and has resided in Red Wing since then. He worked at Summit Fire Protection in Minneapolis until his retirement.

He was an avid golfer and fisherman.

He is survived by his wife, Sonja, of Red Wing; a son, Jon (Mike Meyer) Garness of Rochester; a daughter, Dana (Jeff) Novak of Minneapolis; grandchildren, Emily and Jackson Novak; his father, Ordell Garness of Winona; brothers, Dennis (Dorene) Garness of Canton and Nelvin (Chris) Garness of Wabasha; and a sister, Marsha (Kris) Hall of Winona. He also is survived by two aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his mother and by a niece, Ami Engan Schmelzer.

Funeral services were held on Monday at Mahn Family Funeral Home - Rochester Chapel. The Rev. Maurice Hagen officiated. Burial followed at Big Canoe Cemetery in Northeastern Iowa, near Highlandville.

If so desired, memorials may be directed to cancer research through The Fraternal Order of Eagles in Rochester. Please contact Mahn Family Funeral Home - Rochester Chapel for more details.

Online tributes are being welcomed, and may be created at