Dean Howard Johnson passed away at his home on April 30, 2022 at the age of 71.
After a diagnosis of FrontoTemporal Dementia (FTD) and ALS, Dean spent his last years at home in Stillwater, enjoying daily walks around his neighborhood with his wife Barb at his side.
Dean was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1950. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend.
Beginning in childhood and throughout his entire life, Dean was a faithful Catholic. He attended Superior Cathedral School K-12. Dean graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1972 with a double major in Math and Physics. After a college deferment, he served in the US Army from 1972-1974 and was stationed in Germany.
Dean married Barb Lundquist on January 17, 1976, and they enjoyed 46 years of marriage. Throughout his life, Dean's mindset was "all in," and he did everything 100%. This was especially true in his staunch support of his family.
In 1975 he moved to St. Paul and began working at the St. Paul Companies. He retired as a senior systems analyst in November 2008, although he never lost his analytical way of thinking.
He was a man of many talents and could literally do anything. He never rested until each job was done and done well. In earlier years he was known to go to the library to check out how-to books. He taught himself to sew, wire his garage, replace car parts and refinish furniture. His specialties were his apple pies with perfect crusts, beef stroganoff and home-brewed beer, all of which he generously shared with family and friends.
Dean loved to sing and had perfect pitch. He knew the lyrics to nearly 71 years' worth of songs and commercials, often to his family's dismay. He was proud to travel to Rome with the Nativity of Our Lord choir, where they sang for Pope John Paul II. After moving from St. Paul to Stillwater in 1999, Dean joined Stillwater's St. Michael's choir. Up until 2018, even as his dementia took a deeper hold, Dean was able to sing with the choir.
Dean will be remembered for his exceptionally kind and gentle demeanor. Even during his long illness, Dean was always smiling and mild mannered, never losing his patience or temper. In fact, the only time he ever raised his voice was in song.
Until he was no longer able to do so, spending time with the grandchildren gave him much joy. Dean often co-chaperoned Barb's school trips to Germany. He especially loved vacations in Grand Marais, watching the waves on Lake Superior while sipping a glass of wine. He enjoyed golfing with best friends Karen and Jim Schulz and the St. Paul Companies/Travelers’ league.
He is survived by wife Barb (Lundquist); son Gabe (Elisabeth) Johnson of Duluth; grandchildren Neila and Ian; siblings: Mark (Julie) Johnson, Superior; Mary (Dale) Thomson, Hayward, WI; Michael (Debbie) River Falls, WI; Brian (Kristin), Bailey’s Harbor, WI; and Christine Schellpfeffer, Monona, WI. He's also survived by his sisters-in-law Dorrie Lundquist and Tracey (Bill) Reams; brother-in-law Jason Lundquist, all in the Madison area; and many nieces and nephews. Dean was preceded in death by his parents Rita (Lapp) and Warren Johnson and sisters Diane Larson of Lake Nebagamon, WI and Barbara Kozak of Eagle, WI.
The family wishes to give special thanks to Kendra and Sarah from Family Means of Stillwater; the many angels from Lakeview Home Hospice and BrightStar for making it possible for Dean to remain at home; dear friends Renee, Betty, Karen, Debbie, neighbors, and Barb’s family. Your support made a difficult journey less so.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to Cathedral School, c/o Free & Reduced Hot Lunch, 1419 Baxter Ave, Superior, WI 54880 or https://superiorcathedralschool.org/donate
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life gathering, which will begin at 10:00am on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at the Bradshaw Funeral Home, 2800 Curve Crest Blvd, Stillwater and continue until the 11:00 funeral service, with a luncheon to follow. Gary Banker of Superior, WI will officiate. Please come with a memory to share.
Private interment in Greenwood Cemetery, Superior, Wisconsin at a later date.