Dean Michael Palermo - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

August 31, 1957 - September 15, 2021

Dean Michael Palermo

Dean Palermo was born on August 31st, 1957, in Minneapolis, Minnesota the son of Louis “Louie” and Immogene “Jeanne” (Skogman) Palermo. He was raised in Mora, Minnesota where he graduated from Mora High School and then attended Bethel College. Dean graduated with a degree in Music Education from Bethel College in 1979 and got a master’s degree in Arts and Theological Studies from Bethel Seminary.

During his senior year at Bethel, he met Sara Karlsgodt. The two began dating and were married in 1981 at Trinity Baptist Church in Little Canada where he worked as the Choral Director. Dean and Sara lived at Bethel Seminary for a short time, then moved to Vadnais Heights, and then moved to Minneapolis where they began their family. Paul and David were both born during their time in Minneapolis and Dean worked as the Minister for Music and Worship at Bethlehem Baptist. The family then moved to Mora for four years where Chantelle was born in 1998. Dean worked as the Choral Director at Mora High school. The family moved to Ramsey shortly after Chantelle’s birth where they have lived for the last 23 years. Dean worked as the Minister for Music and Worship at Lord of Life in Ramsey and then took a position at Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield as the Minister for Music and Worship, where he retired in 2019.

Dean was an incredible musician and used his talents and passion to lead people to God through worship. He was able to seamlessly unite the beauty of all genres of Christian music and spent many years teaching others the importance of balancing instrumental with text to create a wonderful worship experience for everyone in the congregation. In Dean’s early musical years, he received the John Philip Sousa award for being the top performer in the high school band, he performed with The Palermo Brothers, the Proclamation group, the Dale Warland Singers, Evangelion Chorale and many other groups. He also published articles in The Complete Library of Christian Worship..

Dean died on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021, at Mercy Hospital. He is survived by his wife Sara Palermo, his three children: Paul (Jodi) Palermo, David (Kaitlin) Palermo, and Chantelle Palermo; 5 grandkids: Hunter Hines, Alivya Palermo, Max Palermo, Lucille Palermo, and Annalyn Palermo; Brothers: David (Donna), Doug; and Sister Dianne.

He was preceded in death by his parents Louis and Immogene and brother Dan.

If you are unable to attend in person, please click here for Dean’s Live Stream Link..


  1. Janet Lange says:

    He was the best worship director Trinity Baptist church ever had. He was a wonderful talented Christian man. He is a big loss to the Christian community! Janet Kay Gerrard Lange

  2. Kristine Wood says:

    I remember having him as a choir teacher in hs. He had an amazing voice. He always had faith in me and told me I could do anything I want. I can’t believe he’s gone. I just heard about his passing. Thanks for the memories Mr p

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