Dan C. Johnson
MADISON, Wis. — Dan C. Johnson, age 69, of Madison, passed away on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. He spent his final days at home among close family and friends. Dan was born on Dec. 25, 1947, the son of Cornel and Virginia (Peterka) Johnson, who never let him forget what he put her through on Christmas, in Racine, Wis. He was the oldest of three and grew up with a large number of cousins and friends. After breaking his neck in a wrestling accident at Racine Horlick High School, he came back and graduated with his class in 1966, due in large part to the efforts of family and friends.
Dan loved his family and making the lives of others better. As an advocate he helped change the landscape of Wisconsin for people with physical disabilities. Prior to his service to the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services he was one of the founders of Society’s Assets in Racine, one of the first of eight Independent Living Centers in the state. His advocacy work began in the late 1960’s when he hooked up with the “Crippled Commandos” in Milwaukee. Dan worked with City, County, State and Federal officials to improve the lives of all people with disabilities. He helped form Wisconsin Disability Coalition, a cross-disability advocacy organization where he and Kathy met in 1980. More recently, He and Kathy founded Indigo Wings, Inc a 501(c)(3) that advocates for and assists artists with disabilities to become more financially independent.
Dan and Kathy married in Nov. of 1983 and became foster parents in February of 1986. In ten years they fostered twenty children and adopted six. Dan was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, instilling in his children a love of the outdoors, especially camping. The family spent many adventurous weekends camping in Wisconsin and across the country.
Dan is survived by his wife, Kathy, son, Drake Johnson; five daughters, Amber L. Tumpach, Kelly M. Johnson, Whitney R. Johnson, Leighanne M. Johnson, and Nicole L. Johnson; granddaughter, Alyssa Rose Tumpach; mother, Virginia Johnson; and sister, Sue Jensen. Dan was preceded in death by his father, Cornel C. Johnson; and sister, Sally Weaseman.
We are respecting Dan’s wishes with a celebration of his life at the CONCOURSE HOTEL, MADISON BALLROOM, 1 W. Dayton St. Madison, from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, 2017. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Indigo Wings Inc., www.indigowingsinc.com.to continue his legacy. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
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