Dennis Jerome Johnson | Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

December 31, 1939 - March 26, 2021

Dennis Jerome Johnson, age 81, of Bloomington, MN, passed away on March 26, 2021. Born during a New Year’s Eve snowstorm in the general store in Corvuso, Minnesota, he was raised in Atwater, Minnesota and was a proud participant of 4H and “Boy’s State Leadership”. Dennis graduated from Augsburg College in 1961 where, as a senior, he met the love of his life, Janet Batalden. They married in 1961 and after serving in the Army from 1963-1965 where their first child, Brent, was born, they returned to Minneapolis where they added daughter, Simone and son, Wade. They moved to Bloomington in 1977, where they spent the majority of their lives together.
His greatest love was his wife and the family they built together. Dennis was an amazing husband who rarely brought flowers (he brought a plant instead, it lasted longer!) and he always brought laughter. He was a father who always made time for his children and then his grandchildren. A long-time member of Diamond Lake Lutheran church, he lived his faith by loving people and lived his life by one simple guideline, “Keep on smilin’“. He loved children, played Santa for the Welcome Home program that both he and Jan volunteered at and served as a basketball coach for Jefferson traveling basketball for many years.
Starting his career in insurance, Dennis moved to real estate in 1974, ending his career with Keller Williams in 2014. His warmth was felt by so many as he mentored young Realtors throughout his career, with one of his greatest joys being to see his son, Brent, become a successful Realtor. His joy in helping people achieve their dream of buying a home was felt by literally thousands during his 40 years as a Realtor.
Dennis was a forever friend who loved to share a cup of coffee and an apple fritter and usually greeted with a hug, not a handshake - and when he hugged, he meant it. Whether by sharing lunch at the Shangri-La, a cup of coffee at McDonalds, or him "buying" lunch at a free BBQ, he greatly valued the time he spent with others. He would often say, "You can’t judge a man’s wealth by the size of his bank account, but by the number of true friends he has". He was a second father for so many throughout his years, and he will be missed and cherished by all who knew him.
Preceded in death by his mother and father, Clara and Everett, father-in-law and mother-in-law, Leonard and Cathryn, brother Donny and niece Jill.
Survived by wife Jan, children, Brent (Anne), Simone Gonzalez (Alex), and Wade (Sara), grandchildren, Jake, Karsten, Emily, Joshua, Matthew, Alexa, and Peter, in-laws, outlaws, nieces, nephews and many amazing friends.

Funeral to be held at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, MN, 4:00, Friday April 9th. Reservations required due to Covid restrictions. Link for reservations below.

Livestream of the service will also be provided at

A private interment will take place at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.

Memorials are preferred to VEAP or the charity of donor's choice.


  1. Marlys Powers says:

    Dennis was such a favorite of mine. I liked both Donnie and Dennis. Dennis was so very playful with me and my sisters. There was always excitement when we found him at Aunt Clara’s & Uncle Pete’s. He’d do magic tricks with coins and never seemed to tire of repeating them for me when I tried, albeit very clumsily, to copy him. He’d laugh at my obvious misfires where coins would go zipping past out of control. He was always happy and in the mood to play… he made us feel special.

    Although I was only in Third Grade when my father, Pat Slinden, moved the family to CA. In those early memories, renewed by vacations to MN, Dennis stands out in my memory in such an important way even as I navigate the world as an adult. I will remember his warmth and kind smile so very fondly.
    God speed, Dennis. May He watch over your family and help them through these difficult times as they miss you, dearly.
    Much Love, Marlys Slinden Powers, Richard Powers, and family

  2. Powers, Marlys says:

    Thank you for providing a means by which we could attend virtually Dennis’ memorial. What a beautiful service for a remarkable man. I happened to notice in my previous comment that I didn’t mention both parents, Pat and Kaye Slinden, a bit embarrassing as they both felt a connection to Dennis and Donnie. I would like to add how much my parents appreciated the lovely pictures and Christmas cards sent every year with news of the family. It felt like Dennis and Jan shared their warmth and connectedness in a way that our whole family enjoyed.

    Thinking of you, Dennis, and your beautiful family. Much love and sympathy, Cousin Marlys

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