Hi, I’m Mr. Janet Johnson

Janet always felt embarrassed when I put that on my name tag when I went to share and event with her –
But it was my way of saying you did this all by yourself.

As you have heard, she accomplished a fantastic amount of good in the short time she shared with all of us.

I’m here to share a little bit of our life together –
To celebrate the life of Janet.


I tried to bring a little bit of Janet into the celebration-

First of all, a little bit of her vanity by displaying an 8 year old picture.

Then her love of nature with some red rocks we brought back from Sedona.

Her love of color with a turquoise iron gate we bought in Sante Fe

She was always trying to get the most amount of adventure for the least amount of dollars – so I brought 2 rattan plant stands and a leather camel saddle we bargained for at yard sales.

Actually, she had a hard time asking for a discount or trying to get a dollar or two knocked off the price – she always said “you go bargain with them, you’re good at that”.

Then she would proceed to tell me how she “found” a million dollars for some state project by getting everyone to compromise.


I’ve had 27 years with Janet and as I look back it’s been fantastic

We’ve had so many adventures and shared so much of life

Her illness amounted to two percent of that time – so I’ve got to remind myself of the other ninety eight percent of the time we spent together.

She was always looking for something new and interesting to do.

As I sat in her office at home I looked at her bulletin board and realized how diverse her interests were – you can tell that by looking at all her friends here today

Here’s a list of some of those items on her bulletin board

– Instructions on how to fillet a Northern Pike without leaving any bones

– A gallery opening notice from a dear painter friend on her exhibit entitled “The Feminine Face of God”

– A Star Wars fan club insiders newsletter

– A picture of her with Ex-Governor Rudy Perpich

– Instructions for making drain cleaner from all natural ingredients

– A copy of her son Erik’s newsletter put out by their alternative rock band

– A note to look for summer clothes to bring to the Beach Dome

– A news clipping on her steadfast stance against storing nuclear reactor rods in the middle of the Mississippi River

– Instructions on how to build a butterfly house

– An e-mail address for my dad’s ex-boss – she was trying to figure out how we could get to visit him – never mind that my dad’s ex-boss was 105 and lives in Costa Rica

– A letter from a friend that read – “Thank you for everything! You’re still my first choice for governor maybe in 2002. Carry on the fight, dear friend, for the reward is the act of struggle itself.”

An invitation to her 59th birthday party last March – the theme was the big band era of the 30’s and 40’s

We featured Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger movies primarily for our 2 year old granddaughter Sarah – you see, Sarah wasn’t going to do ordinary kid things – Janet had introduced her to Fred and Ginger and now Sarah knows 6 of their movies by heart and has her own pair of tap shoes. And it was Janet’s way of getting Jessica to put Sarah into a fancy dress because Sarah wanted to be just like Ginger.


Everyone I meet say’s “I can’t believe she’s gone”

Well, she really isn’t – somehow she found a way to give a part of herself to everyone of you

Hundreds of card’s and calls relate personal stories of how she touched each of our lives

I’d like to read part of a letter from Chris-


Dear Dennis and family–

When I think of Janet, I think of bright lipstick, stunning suits, fabulous hair, and a great graciousness. To me she was always a hippie inside all of that (an image from some old photo you had on your wall), selling Christmas trees from your land and dome homes in her jeans at the State Fair, and doing it all with style. Janet made everything she did seem effortless.

Thank you, Dennis and her children, for letting her share so much of herself with the good citizens of the state of Minnesota. I know how much time that takes away from a family. She will be missed terribly by the many people she touched, including me.

No doubt she is already organizing a caucus up in heaven, perhaps trying to get St. Peter replaces with St. Joan, for equity sake.


She gave the most to her children

To Jess, she gave her ability to organize the facts, sum up the situation and take charge

To Jen, she gave her desire to help anyone in need and the patience to teach children

To Erik, our 23 year old son, (and she would add “He’s still single, girls”, she gave her Italian suntanned skin and black hair, and her ability to meet someone and within minutes, make them feel like she knew them forever

To Sarah, our granddaughter – she gave you everything!


She used to get a little upset when I tried to answer that trick question they put on the family fishing license application – “what color are your wives’ eyes?” One year I said green, one year I said gray.

Janet had vision – The ability to see the long range plan. Those gorgeous smiling brown eyes were always looking for something new – Looking to discover everything else life had to offer. Can you imagine looking at the world through Janet’s eyes? Well, somewhere, in the State of Minnesota, someone is. No one knows this, but Janet’s eyes were successfully transplanted the day after she left this world. That’s one damn lucky person


I’m going to try to close by reading what I was going to sing to her on our 25th wedding anniversary next year – I was going to have Erik play the music

It goes:

My love for you is immeasurable – my respect for you immense
You’re ageless, timeless, lace & fineness – you’re beauty & elegance
You’re a rhapsody, a comedy, a symphony & a play
You’re every love song ever written but honey what do you see in me
You’re an essay in glamour – please pardon the grammar
But you’re every school boy’s dream
You’re in my heart – you’re in my soul
You’ll be my breath should I grow old
You are my lover, you’re my best friend – you’re in my soul


Our family would like to thank you for celebrating Janet’s life with us

We will be in the commons area down the hall – there are also story books so that you can tell us your story about Janet – We invite you to share some dessert or veggies and Juice

As we get up to share some stories about Janet, I’d like to play my other song for Janet my love

(“Blue Sky” – Allman Brothers)


Walk along the river, sweet Alabam
It just keeps on flowing, it don’t worry ’bout where it’s going.
Don’t fly Mr. Bluebird, I’m just walking down the road,
Early morning sunshine tells me all I need to know.

You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day,
Lord you know it makes me high
When you turn your love my way
Turn your love my way

Good old Sunday morning, bells are ringing everywhere
But we’re going to Carolina, won’t be long and we’ll be there

You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day,
Lord you know it makes me high
When you turn your love my way –
Turn your love my way