Cover photo for Dennis Verne Johnson's Obituary
Dennis Verne Johnson Profile Photo
1934 Dennis 2019

Dennis Verne Johnson

March 15, 1934 — February 5, 2019

Dennis V. Johnson passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at his home following the diagnosis of mesothelioma several months ago.  Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, February 25, 2019 from 4 - 8 PM at the Milaca American Legion.  There will be a time of sharing memories of Dennis at 6 PM.

Dennis Johnson was born March 15, 1934 in Oak Park, Minnesota to Victor and Elsie Johnson. He grew up on the family farm near Oak Park and went to District 68 country school near their home. He attended Foley High School and later was employed by Doug Henschel Plumbing. He entered the Navy in April 1954 and was stationed at Great Lakes, Illinois, Norfolk, Virginia, Vallejo and Long Beach, California.

Dennis married Arlyss Green of Milaca November 12, 1955 and they continued living in Long Beach California while he continued his tour of duty to Japan and China three times. While in California their first daughter, Vicki was born. He was honorably discharged April 1958 and they moved to Milaca and his son, Craig and daughter, Debi were born. He worked for Jay Bliss Plumbing and Heating.

In March 1964, he began working for the city of Milaca as a police officer and later as Police Chief. He retired after 29 years of service in 1993.  He was a long-time member of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. While on the force he became instrumental in the introduction of “Get Hooked on Fishing – Not Drug Program for children in the Milaca area. He was very dedicated to this for many years. He later became the coordinator for Mille Lacs County Search and Rescue and Boat and Water safety and was also dedicated to this for many years.

In 1991, he and his wife bought a cabin on Mille Lacs Lake and in 1996, made it their home.  He loved time spent fishing. Fishing was one of his greatest joys of life, taking others with him especially grandchildren and helping them learn to fish. He enjoyed yearly fishing trips to Lake of the Woods with his law enforcement buddies. He enjoyed the many stories and tricks that were played.

In 2002, they moved back to Milaca to a small hobby farm. He loved watching and video-taping the many deer and other wild life that came to his many feeders. He enjoyed putting the videos on tapes and taking pictures and sharing with others. He loved going to his son’s cabin during hunting season to share the many stories.

He was a member of the Milaca VFW and a Life Member of the Milaca Legion. He spent many hours helping with the many activities at the Legion until recently when his illness prevented it.  He was also a receiver of many awards – Distinguished Service Award, Good Neighbor Award and many others.

His son got him interested in antiques and garage sales where he picked up many dolls, cars and trucks and for many years donated the toys to the Legion’s Santa Claus Kids Christmas Party. He also carried toys in his pickup and one of his greatest joys was having children come to his pick up to pick out a toy. He would come home happy knowing he put a smile on another child’s face. He loved visits from his family and was especially interested in the involvement of the sporting and athletic events his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are in.

Everyone in Milaca knew his pick up as his Springer, Sam, was always with him. No one went near that pickup as Sam was such a protector of his master.

Dennis is survived by the love of his life, Arlyss of 63 years;  three children, Vicki (Todd) Benson, Craig (Tammie) Johnson and Deb Johnson all of Milaca;  five grandchildren, Brandon (Courtney) Maurer of Foley, Sara (Justin) Taylor of Foreston, Megan (Ryan) Selly of Becker, Ben (Jen) Johnson of Becker and Nicholas Johnson of MSUM – Moorhead;  ten great grandchildren, Jalyn, Liana, and Nolan Selly, Aysa, McKinley and Tate Johnson, Paige and Wyatt Maurer and Gavin and Dawson Taylor.

Because of Dad’s love for animals, in lieu of flowers  family requests donations be made to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation –

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dennis Verne Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, February 25, 2019

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Milaca American Legion

160 2nd St SE, Milaca, MN 56353

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 21

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree