Cover photo for Dean Johnson's Obituary
Dean Johnson Profile Photo

Dean Johnson

June 22, 1937 — January 31, 2024

Bel Aire

Dean Johnson

Harry “Dean” Johnson, devoted husband, beloved father and adored “Backi” passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus Wednesday, January 31, 2024 with his bride of 67 years, Arlene, by his side. 


Dean was born to Harry Riley and Estelle Esther (Frazee) Johnson on June 22, 1939, in Hopewell, KS, the fourth of five children. At age six Dean began driving a tractor and his love of farm life never waned. His children and grandchildren have been blessed to hear about his farm adventures with the cows, horses, dogs, skunks and other critters. More importantly, Dean loved to share stories about his Mother and Daddy’s selfless acts of love and sacrifice for their family.


Dean and Arlene met in Byers, KS, a tiny town in Pratt County,where they attended high school together. When Dean took an interest in Arlene he knew that her father, Calvin Johnson, was pastor of the nearby Friends church and along with her mother Lois, would need to be courted as well. When Dean first arrived to visit Arlene at the parsonage, he noticed several firearms placed in conspicuous places around the house by Arlene’s father. Despite the initial welcome, Dean quickly won their love and approval. 


As Dean and Arlene became fonder of each other she encouraged him to attend a revival meeting in the community,as she would only consider a future with a Christian man. During that meeting, Dean began his lifelong dedication to loving and serving Christ.


After graduation from Byers High School Dean moved away to attend Wichita University, and upon completing his first semester realized he couldn’t bear to be apart from his sweetheart. 


Arlene Johnson and Dean Johnson were married by Arlene’s father and grandfather, Calvin Johnson and Levi Johnson, at Pleasant Plain Friends Church on July 22, 1956. They began their life together in Wichita while Dean continued his studies and Arlene finished her education at Wichita High School East.


They welcomed their first son, Alan Dean in 1958, followed by Monte Lavern in 1963 and Maria “Lynette” in 1964. Dean provided for the growing family balancing numerous part-time jobs and countless late nights studying.


Dean completed his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Wichita University in 1962, his master’s degree from Emporia State University in 1967, and his PhD from Kansas State University in 1978. As he pursued his advanced degrees, Dean held teaching positions at Friends University, Kansas State University, Robinson Jr. High, North High School, Wichita Collegiate School, The Classical School, and Evangelical Christian Academy in Spain. 


Dean’s passion for teaching extended beyond the classroom, as he loved tutoring his children and grandchildren, leading Bible studies and mentoring prison inmates. He took great joy in recognizing and greeting his former students nearly everywhere he went.


Dean and Arlene were active in various churches and joined Eastminster Presbyterian Church in 1990.


Upon Dean’s retiring from a 25-year engineering career at Boeing, they actively served in various church missions. Their time in mission work from 2003-2009 took them to Brazil, Slovakia, Spain, and Cyprus where they had countless adventures and began many lasting friendships. Their final post was near Madrid, Spain where Dean taught physics and math at Evangelical Christian Academy attended by children of missionaries. 


Dean was preceded in death by son Alan Johnson and is survived by his wife of 67 years, Arlene; children Monte & Debbie Johnson, Ann Johnson, Lynette Flinn & Chris Davison; beloved grandchildren Adam Calvin & Annemarie Johnson, Riley and Lori Flinn, Meredith Johnson, Garrett Johnson & Emily Sanders, Sidney Flinn and Jillian Johnson. Deansgreatest joys also included great-grandchildren Connor Dean Flinn, Emma Rae Flinn and Aly Meredith Johnson. He is also survived by sister, Judy Clothier.


Everyone who knew Dean appreciated his kindness, gentleness, intelligence, humor, and his overflowing love for Christ, Arlene, and his family.  A time of visitation with family will be held at Cozine Life Events Center, 11500 E. 21st St. N., on Thursday, February 15, from 5-7 pm. Celebration of Life Service, 10:30 am, Friday, Feb. 16, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 1958 N. Webb Rd. Share condolences at Services by Cozine Memorial Group-Cozine Life Events Center.

Memorials have been established with:

Eastminster Presbyterian Church

1958 N. Webb Rd.

Wichita, KS  67206

Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice

313 S. Market St.

Wichita, KS  67202


To send flowers to the family in memory of Dean Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, February 16, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Eastminster Presbyterian Church

1958 N Webb Rd, Wichita, KS 67206

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