Johnson, Verdine "Dean"
Verdine "Dean" Johnson, age 87, passed away peacefully at his home,
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004, surrounded by his loving family and faithful
companion, his dog, Jake. Dean, a lifelong Madison resident, was born on June
16, 1917, the son of Julian H. and Gladys L. Johnson. He was a member of
Madison East High School, class of 1935, and attended the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 1939. Dean was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi
fraternity. In December 1940, Dean married the love of his life, Alberta A.
Felly. He served in the United States Navy during World War II as a pharmacist
mate third class. He played basketball for the United States Naval Hospital
team, sang in the Great Lakes Naval Choir, and earned the Victory, and
American Theatre medals. After his honorable discharge in 1946, Dean returned
to Madison and worked with his father at Johnson Insulating Company, retiring
as president in May 2004. He was a past president of the Madison Mechanical
Contractors Association. Throughout his life, Dean, also known as "V.J.," was
active in many charitable and service organizations. He was a 32nd degree
Mason-Valley of Madison, a member of Hiram Lodge No. 50 F.&A.M., and a member
of Zor Shrine. Dean joined the Madison Central Lions Club in 1951. He was
elected club president in 1958, and District Governor (District 27D) in 1961.
He was awarded the title of International Counsellor in 1962, and after
serving as club secretary for 27 years, was awarded life membership in 1984.
In 1988, Dean was presented with the Melvin Jones Fellow Award by Lions Club
International. A longtime member of Nakoma Country Club, Dean became president
in 1963. He served as treasurer for 18 years, secretary for five years, and
was on the Board of Directors for 28 years. In 1996, he was awarded honorary
lifetime membership. Dean excelled in athletics, winning championships in
horseshoes, golfing a hole in one at Nakoma, and bowling three 300 games. He
was active in the A.B.C. and a fixture in the Madison Classics League for many
years. His skills earned him induction into the Madison Bowling Hall of Fame
in 1985. A lifelong member of Luther Memorial Church, Verdine served with his
daughter, Julie, as an usher on many Sunday mornings in the month of November.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Henry "Hank" Johnson.
Dean is survived by "his favorite," his wife of 63 years, Alberta; three
daughters, Bonnie (Allan) Mann of Durand, Mich., Julie Schutz of Sun Prairie,
and Janine (Michael) Farmer of Wildwood, Mo.; and a son, Dean (Signe) Johnson
of Albion. Dean has six grandchildren and 3.5 great grandchildren. The family
would like to extend a sincere thank you to all those who supported and cared
compassionately for their father. Dean's funeral and Masonic service will be
held at 1 p.m., Monday, Sept. 27, 2004, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway
Road. Friends may greet the family on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2004, from 4 p.m. to 8
p.m. and again one hour prior to the services at Cress. Burial at Roselawn
Memorial Park will immediately follow the service. Memorials may be made to
Madison Central Lions Club Foundation. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610
Speedway Road (608) 238-3434