Dennis ‘Sunny’ Johnson

Dennis Johnson obit photoDennis ‘Sunny’ Lee Johnson, 63, of Oak Grove died in a car crash on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 in Hillsboro, N.D.

Sunny was born to Donald and Zellafern (Golden) Johnson on May 11, 1949 in Siren, Wis., the second of five children. He attended school in Coon Rapids, dropping out at age 16 to join the workforce. He met his wife, Linda, at her father’s auto wrecking business as a teenager, but their lives took them in different directions for many years. They finally tied the knot on Aug. 16, 1988. Family was very important to Sunny, and despite being a workaholic, he made time for his wife, kids and grandchildren.

He passed along his good work ethic to his children. If you were family, he put you to work, too, pounding nails and painting walls. All of his children worked for him in the construction business over the years, as did many of his nephews. “For a 63-year-old guy, he could work like he was 20,” observed his son Nick. Despite putting in six-day work weeks, Sunny never complained. In his “down time,” he remodeled his own homes.

Sunny was a man who always believed everyone deserved a second chance.

He enjoyed baseball and collecting cars, particularly Rancheros, and spent many an hour in the garage fixing them up. He loved comics, and has a room at home full of them.

He was preceded in death by his former wife, Sue (Nicholson) Johnson; father Donald Johnson; father-in-law John Blumer; son-in-law Lester Miller; and sister-in-law Cheryl Slater.

Sunny is survived by wife Linda Johnson of Oak Grove; children Jennifer Johnson of Oak Grove, Nick (Sarah) Johnson of Big Lake, Brent (Ambyr) Johnson of Champlain, Doug (Connie) Miller of Big Lake, and Terri (Jennifer) Miller of Bradford; grandchildren Tristin Johnson, Brooklyn Johnson, Austin Johnson, Kayla (Josh) Wagner, Jessica Miller, Melanie Miller, Makenzie MIller, Brittney (Josh) Janes, Megan Miller and Daniel Miller; mother Zellafern Johnson; siblings Donald (Val) Johnson, Darwin Johnson, Daryl Johnson and Darlene Poss; and many other loved ones.

The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 at Stike Funeral Home – Isanti Chapel. Sunny’s brother-in-law, Brad Slater, will be officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Isanti Chapel and also one hour prior to the service. Lunch will follow the funeral at the family home after the service.