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Mr. Dean Thomas "Tom" Johnson

Mr. Dean Thomas "Tom" Johnson
  • October 23, 1943 - July 13, 2019
  • Dowling, Michigan
  • Barry County Animal Shelter
    540 N. Industrial Park Drive
    Hastings, MI 49058
  • Pierce Cedar Creek Environmental Institute
    701 W. Cloverdale Road
    Hastings, MI 49058
  • Donate to the American Cancer Society

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“Dear Family,Our thoughts and prayers are with all ofyou at this difficult time......Deepest Sympathy,ALZY Brown & Carmen Shepherd & Family ”
1 of 10 | Posted by: Alice Brown - Dowling, MI

“Dear Carol:I am so surprised and sad at Tom's passing. Please accept my condolences. I am happy now for all the memories we shared here with Heidi...Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: Ann Goetting - bowling green, KY

“I am deeply sorry for this untimely loss. Tom was a kind, interesting man. So sorry. ”
3 of 10 | Posted by: Joycexw Galen - Augusta, MI

“Tom was a brilliant designer and creative artist. His work at the Kingman Museum helped to create what was recognized as one of the finest small...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Bob Learner - Battle Creek, MI

“I am so sorry Carol...please accept my condolences ”
5 of 10 | Posted by: Trudy Daum - Bellevue, MI

“We will miss Tom at The Joy of Writing meetings. He was a valued member of our group. Our condolences to Tom's family on your loss. Ann, Rick, Linda,...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Ann Murray - Schoolcraft, MI

“Lost a dear friend with Tom's passing, a friendship that spanned 60 years. I am thankful I was able to speak with him one last time reminiscing old...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Arthur Wiese - Junction City, WI

“Tom was an excellent bridge player and I always looked forward to playing at his table. Everyone knew something funny would happen or he would tell...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Marian Gilbert - Kalamazoo, MI

“For the ten years our sons progressed from cub to Boy Scouts, Tom was a constant companion in one adventure after another. From Philmont High...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Chuck Zamzow - Battle creek, MI

“Tom was a good man and always pleasant company. I enjoyed spending time with Tom when our kids were in the boy scouts. I was blessed to have know him...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Marv Ratner - Battle Creek, MI

Air Force Emblem

Dean Thomas "Tom" Johnson, 75, of Dowling, MI passed away peacefully on Saturday morning, July 13th, 2019 at the Glenn Arbor Hospice Residence. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, and entertained those who knew him with his unique humor.

Tom was born in Milwaukee, WI, October 23, 1943, the son of William and Beatrice Johnson. After graduating from Nicolet High School in Fox Point, WI, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in anthropology. Through the ROTC program, he became a commissioned officer in the US Air Force. Tom met his loving wife, Carol, while in college; they later married, April 20, 1968, at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA. After his military service, Tom earned his BFA in art from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Tom worked as the curator of exhibits at The Kingman Museum of Natural History in Battle Creek, MI for nearly 30 years. Applying his artistic and scientific talents, he created unique, participatory exhibits which engaged the visitors and enhanced their understanding of science and natural environments.

Tom is survived by his wife, Carol Ann (Edwards) Johnson; his children, Heidi Johnson of Bowling Green, KY, and Eric (Katrina) Johnson of Sparta, NJ; two grandchildren, Laura and Rebecca Johnson; his sister and brother, Pamela Fiske of Boston, MA, and Rolfe Johnson of Milwaukee, WI; nieces, Kyla Fiske, Lauren Johnson, and Emily Edwards; nephews, Colin Fiske and William Johnson; and several cousins. Tom was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Richard Terry Johnson; and his nephew, Owen Fiske.

Tom created a landscape of native plants and flowers on their wooded lakeside property. He volunteered for the Battle Creek Art Center and the Pierce Cedar Creek Environmental Institute. He was also a volunteer event supervisor for Science Olympiad at the state level and enjoyed creating thought provoking crime scenarios for students to solve. Tom participated in a life drawing group, the Battle Creek Artist Guild, and Voices of Peace. He loved games, especially duplicate bridge. He played regularly with the Kalamazoo Duplicate Bridge group, earning enough points to be a Ruby Life Master with the American Contract Bridge League. He also participated in a writing group and was writing a book when he died.

Funeral services with full military honors to celebrate Tom's life will be held 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at the Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta. A luncheon for friends and family will follow at Pierce Cedar Creek Environmental Institute, 701 W Cloverdale Road, Hastings, MI 49058. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Pierce Cedar Creek Environmental Institute, 701 W. Cloverdale Rd., Hastings, MI 49058, the Barry County Animal Shelter, 540 Industrial Park Dr., Hastings, MI. 49058, or the American Cancer Society. Arrangements by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family may be placed at