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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
DENLINGER, Norma. (St. Louis, MO, Apr, 19, 1928--Dubuque, IA, Dec. 19, 2019). Norma Denlinger and her husband co-owned the Denlinger Insurance Agency for nearly fifty years, but it was her civic involvement for which she is remembered.

The daughter of native Dubuquers who returned to the city when their child was two years old, Denlinger attended CLARKE COLLEGE for one year where she planned to major in zoology. She left school, despite having a four-year scholarship, to enter the business world as an assistant to the personnel director of the DUBUQUE PACKING COMPANY. Later she joined her husband in establishing an insurance business. One of the first women to enter the business in Dubuque, she founded the Insurance Women of Dubuque and served as its president and treasurer.

Civic responsibilities grew out of volunteer activities with her children. Denlinger became a Girl Scout troop organizer and later president and field vice president of the Little Cloud Council. She helped establish the DUBUQUE GIRLS' CLUB in 1975 and was a member of its board. During her service until 1991, she served both as treasurer and president.

Denlinger held the position of division chairwoman of the United Way as well as treasurer and past president of the Insurance Women of Dubuque. Her service on the board of the DUBUQUE RACING ASSOCIATION included chairwoman of the long-range planning committee, vice president and president beginning in 1992.

Denlinger's commitment to public service resulted in being the recipient of the FIRST CITIZEN AWARD in 2006. She received the Faye Hoffman Above & Beyond Award for outstanding service to the United Way in 2008. One of the roads in the DUBUQUE ARBORETUM AND BOTANICAL GARDENS was named Denlinger Dr. in honor of her philanthropy. (2) In 2011 she was serving on the board of the United Way.

In 2013 the Dubuque Racing Association established a scholarship in her name after she retired from the board in December, 2012 after twenty-seven years of service. The annual renewable scholarship for $5,000 was to be directed toward benefiting Northeast Iowa Community College students. (3)

In 2018 she was an honorary chair of the America's River III fundraising campaign.



1. Bergstrom, Kathy, "Denlinger Serves in Community, Business," Telegraph Herald, October 25, 1992, p. 19

2. Portje, Jeremy. "Denlinger Dr." THonline. Online: http://www.thonline.com/news/tri-state/image_32ffcb58-9fa4-11e1-97a1-001a4bcf6878.html

3. "Denlinger Scholarship," Telegraph Herald, February 20, 2013, p. 3

175 Years, Volume 3, "Denlinger Goes Above and Beyond," Telegraph Herald, September 15, 2008