Dennis Raymond Padrnos


September 9, 1936 - November 20, 2012




     Dennis Raymond Padrnos was born September 9, 1936 to Judge George Padrnos and Lillian (Honner) Padrnos in Lake Andes, SD.  He was the youngest of 6 children.  He went to USD on a basketball scholarship, taught business law in the School of Business and graduated with a business and law degree in 1960.  He served in the US Army Judge Advocate General Corps from 1960-1963 where he was the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal.  While stationed in Germany, he served as Chief Defense Counsel for the 24th Infantry Division, and prosecutor for the JAG Corps.  Achieving the rank of Captain, he was honorably discharged and returned to Mitchell where he joined the law practice with local attorney Fred Tinan.  Dennis married Diane Nelson on September 2, 1967 at Holy Family Church.  Appointed to the position of Davison County States Attorney, he was successful in his re-election bids and served the county for 13 years having a 98% conviction rate in all cases tried.  

     In 1992 he established his own law practice; his 50 year law career was recognized in 2010 when he was honored by the SD Bar Assn.  Dennis retired in 2012 after 52 yrs of law practice.  During his career he was a guest lecturer at the SD Bar Assn. Annual Convention, SD Claims Adjusters Annual Convention, Rotary, Lions, Exchange Club, Church and Civics Groups, and the Public Schools.

     Among his many awards and recognitions, Dennis received an “A” rating from Martindale-Hubbell (a national ranking of lawyers), became the SD spokesperson for the National Head Injury Foundation, was President of the Fourth Judicial Bar Assn., Davison County Bar Assn., and served as a SD Bar Commissioner.  Honors included the Governor’s Award for Service, the Patriotism Award from the Exchange Club, and serving on the advisory Board for the SD States Attorney Assn.

     Active in the community, Dennis founded the first Head Injury Support Group in SD, served as President of the Holy Spirit Parish Council, Holy Spirit Lector, lay minister, and usher. He joined the Knights of Columbus holding the position of Advocate.  He also served as consultant and advisor for the pre-marriage classes through Holy Family Church.  Asked to serve on the St. Joseph Hospital Lay Board, he served as its President before moving to the hospital Board of Trustees.  Other boards he served on were the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Middle Border Museum, and Advisory Board of the Mitchell Area Vo-Tech School of Business. 

     Dennis volunteered for the Meals on Wheels program, was a patron for the Dakota Wesleyan University Performing Arts program and organized a volunteer program to assist the Park and Rec with maintenance of island and city parks. He served on the Chamber of Commerce City Beautification Committee and was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and United Way.  He held membership in the YMCA, Elks Club, Rotary Club, Moose Club, Ducks Unlimited, Oscar Howe Art Center, and MHS Booster Club.  He served as review person for the Boy Scout Legal Merit Badge and was a certified timer for the Mitchell Swim Team.

     His professional affiliations included East River Legal Services, SD Bar Assn., Davison County Bar Assn., SD Trial Lawyers Assn., National Assn of District Attorneys, Fourth Judicial Bar Assn., Young Lawyers Assn., SD School Attorneys Assn., and SD States Assn.  Among his other activities, Dennis was a Certified Abstracter, licensed Real Estate Appraiser, and Certified Mediator.

     Dennis loved museums and going to the Pavilion in Sioux Falls to attend concerts and Broadway touring company productions.  He loved trying exotic and new foods.  Cooking and flower gardening became a passion as well as feeding the birds and squirrels.  He was an avid fan of Notre Dame football, enjoyed watching Kernel basketball and put up with his wife’s love of New York Yankee baseball.

     In 2012 Dennis was honored with Mayor Sebert proclaiming April, 1st, Dennis Padrnos Day in Mitchell and Governor Daugaard proclaiming May 1st, Dennis Padrnos Day across the state of South Dakota.

     Dennis is survived by his wife, Diane, three children:  Michael Padrnos (Michelle), South Bend, IN, Beth Padrnos Klein (Aaron), Houston, TX and Lara Padrnos Altenburg (Chris), Sioux Falls, SD.  He was the proud grandfather of ten grandchildren; two brothers: George Padrnos (Eleanor), Yankton, Richard Padrnos (Dona), Boulder, CO, two sisters, Elaine Petersen (Don), Sioux City, IA, Patricia Borgen, Slidell, LA and numerous nieces and nephews.  Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Betty Becker, and brothers-in-law, Max Becker and Ivan Borgen, and niece, Barbara (Becker) Myers.


The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to John Paul II tuition assistance fund.





















Friday, November 23, 2012
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
Scripture Service ~ 7:00 PM
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Saturday, November 24, 2012
10:30 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
321 E 3rd Avenue
Mitchell, South Dakota


Military Graveside Service
Servicemen's Memorial Cemetery
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by Stephanie Tinan Lonnquist on December 6, 2012
Dear Diane, all of the Tinan girls keenly feel the loss of Dennis. Although we hadn't had a chance to see him for a number of years, we still remember when he joined Dad's firm. In fact, when Dad introduced me to Dennis, I developed an instant crush! I decided right then that I wanted to be a JAG lawyer. Didn't happen but I married an attorney and gave birth to an attorney - close enough! I hope the memories you and your family have of Dennis will give you much comfort.
Posted by The Tinan Daughters on November 29, 2012
We have just learned of your recent loss and wanted you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers. You have our deepest sympathy as you go through this most difficult time,
Posted by Brent Knickrehm on November 25, 2012
My sincere sympathies go out to the entire Padrnos family. Mike and I were very good friends in high school and I spent a great deal of time at the Padrnos house with so many great memories. Not only did Dennis have to put up with Diane's love of the Yankees, I had to put up with Mike liking them also, so we had something in common. Mike and Lara would always gang up on me with the sports teams. Maybe ND will win one for Dennis this year. I still remember Dennis and Mike cheering them on when they won the last one. I even had to make a 3 hour trip for them so they would not miss one of ND's most important games. They loved ND football!!! Thank you for the great high school memories at your house and givng us your full attention. You will be greatly missed.
Posted by Vickie Muilenburg on November 24, 2012
You have have my deepest sympathy. Dennis was such a wonderful man. He helped me so much with my fathers estate. I so enjoyed visits with him in the office. I would bring him walleye and always get his recipes in return for turkey and his favorite baked onion. He always spoke with great love for his family and shared his story of his office remodel they surprised him with. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. He will be missed.
Posted by Jason, Tammy & Gavin Styer on November 22, 2012
Our deepest sympathies to Diane and family. Dennis always made the office an more interesting place to be. I smile when I think about him bringing in those awful crawfish that made me want to gag (he thought that was hilarious of course:), treating us to fresh dimock cheese, or letting us sample his ‘special’ smoked turkey, not to mention all the other goodies he made and shared generously with us over the years. And of course he was always keeping us on our toes with his office pranks & jokes. But he was also a man of great intelligence and with much integrity. My son has always thought of Dennis as the ‘candy guy’ or that ‘guy with the pool’. Dennis wore many hats well and he will certainly be missed by many.
Posted by Tara Merkwan on November 22, 2012
So sorry for your loss. You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers, and will continue to do so. Words just do not come easy at a time like this, but wanted to let you know many people have you lifted up in prayer as you go through this difficult time.
Posted by MELVIN & DOROTHY BENDER on November 22, 2012
Posted by Craig and Gena Anderson on November 22, 2012
Thinking of you all during this difficult time
Posted by Elwin & Rosalie Hohn on November 21, 2012
We extend our deepest sympathy to each of you, our thoughts & prayers are with you through this difficult time.
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