Daniel Scott Johnson
Johnson, Daniel Scott Dan Johnson, 66, loving husband, proud father, faithful brother, loyal friend, Master Gardener, State-Fair-lover, avid kayaker, hopeful fisherman, jokester extraordinaire, died suddenly on October 4, 2019 in Lucca, Italy doing what he loved - traveling. He shared his love and loyalty with Sally, his wife of 34 years, their sons Colin and Evan, and with the many friends and causes in which he invested and positively impacted. A recognized health care and foundation professional, Dan's career spanned more than 30 years. He served in leadership roles for four organizations, as VP, Mission Advancement and Public Policy for the Twin Cities chapter of the National MS Society, Executive Director of the United Health Foundation and VP of Social Responsibility for UnitedHealth Group, Executive Director of the Blue Cross Foundation and Director of Community Affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Director of Corporate Education for Park Nicollet Health Services. Minnesota affiliations outside his employment included board chair of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association's Twin Cities Heart Walk, advisor to the Minnesota Department of Health Tobacco Endowment, following the Blue Cross/Blue Shield involvement in the successful litigation against "big tobacco." The StarTribune published Dan's commentary, A New Normal for the State's Nonprofits, about the mandate to control costs amid a shrinking philanthropic base. From 2010 2016 Dan served as secretary of the ClearWay Minnesota Board of Directors, appointed by the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader and funded by the state's tobacco settlement to improve the health of Minnesotans. At his retirement in 2013, Dan devoted himself to his latest calling, a Master Gardener certification from the University of Minnesota Extension. Dan punctuated his community service with his outgoing, warm and lighthearted nature. He was a generous neighbor and a fun mentor for young people. Dan was born and educated in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He obtained his BS degree in Recreation Therapy Administration at the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse and earned his Master of Education at the University of Minnesota. Dan is survived by his wife, Rev. Sally Howell Johnson, two sons, Colin and Evan, both of Seattle, his sister Sally von Zirngibl of San Diego. A celebration of his blessed and beautiful life will be held January 18 at 11 a.m. at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland, Minneapolis. Memorials to Dodge Nature Center or Dakota County Master Gardener's Habitat for Humanity project.
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