Michael “Mike” Johnsen

Michael “Mike” Johnsen, age 59 of Prior Lake, formerly of Waseca, passed away at Haven Homes of Maple Plaine. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, November 1, at 11 AM with a visitation 1-hour prior, with lunch to follow at Friendship Church, 17741 Fairlawn Avenue, Prior Lake. Mike will be laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials are preferred and will be distributed in Mike’s memory, by the family.

On May 31, 1960, Mike was born to parents, Kenneth and Bonnie (Fast) Johnsen. He was the oldest of four children to be raised in Prior Lake. From a young age, Mike was adventurous and spirited. In kindergarten, Mike’s family learned that he would face many challenges in life. Growing up in the 70s and 80s as a mentally challenged child was difficult, but Mike had many helpful teachers and caretakers at his day activity center.

After attending various educational programs in the south metro, Mike moved to Elm Homes in Waseca, MN. There he gained stability and a meaningful level of care. Along with the other residents, Mike enjoyed going on walks, camping, attending sporting events, and participating in the Special Olympics. In his youth and into adulthood, Mike’s favorite activity was watching cartoons, SpongeBob being his favorite. Mike also liked cartoon puzzles.

Mike had boundless energy—he stayed active by dancing, bowling, and horseback riding. To keep up his energy, Mike was always eating. He loved his mom’s cookies! Mike was also proud to work at Jobs Plus in Waseca.

Mike had his own way of communicating and letting his presence be known. He loved listening to music and singing along, especially to church hymns. Wherever he went, Mike was fearless. He made countless memories with his family, friends, and caretakers over the years.

Mike is loved and missed by his parents, Bonnie and Kenneth Johnsen; brother, Bryan (Yee Lee) Johnsen; nephew and niece, Brayden and Miranda Johnsen; other relatives and friends.

Mike is greeted in Heaven by his sister, Deborah, and brother, Timothy.

Special note about getting to the Celebration of Life Service in Prior Lake. There is a great deal of road construction, including road closures, throughout the Prior Lake area. Please use online navigation to get the most up to date information on these closures and to plan your best route to Friendship Church.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Ken and Bonnie,

    Our deepest sympathies on your loss. Sending loving thoughts and prayers to you both!

    Michael and Sue Sweeney

  2. So sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. My thoughts are will you all. Much Love

  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Jack and Sandra Rogino

  4. My cousin Mike was the most special…he had a heart of gold and laughter that would fill the room. I know he is in heaven laughing and dancing with joy. Love n miss yu Mike

  5. Dear Ken and Bonnie, we are so sad for the loss of your dear son Mike. May God give you and thebreat of your family peace and comfort.
    We care and love you
    Evandro and Monique

  6. Dear Ken & Bonnie,
    I adored taking care of Mike for so many years! Always a new & usually humorous adventure! I will miss this very special man dearly!

    • Lisa Maas-Bruder

      My condolences to Ken and Bonnie. I worked for Kathy and was privileged to be his “first” staff to welcome him to Elm Homes. Many happy memories I am blessed to have.
      Thank you for choosing ELM homes. My heart and hugs are sent to you and Mikes family

    • Kenneth and Bonnie

      Thank you for thinking about Mike and his mental health problems. Also a extra thanks for your help.

    • Kenneth and Bonnie

      Thank you for all you done for Mike and his mental problems.

    • Kenneth and Bonnie

      Thank You Kathy for all your help for Mike. I know he enjoyed be with you thru some of his good and bad times. Also Thank You for being at his funeral.

  7. Was a pleasure watching out for Mike,many fun adventures, he had alot af beautiful qualities you will be greatly missed from home 63

  8. You have my sympathies. Mike was a joy! I always looked forward to seeing him and enjoyed his big smile. He will be missed.

  9. Sorry for your loss. Mike was a really fun man to be around. He enjoyed working on pulling out Christmas lights for the recycling program at Jobs Plus. He loved welcoming peers at the door when they would come to work! He was just a fun and happy man. We will true lily miss him at work!

    Suzette Ambroz (direct care supervisor at Jbs Plus)

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about Mike. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him. I knew him through the South Central Lakers Special Olympics team. I enjoyed working with Mike. My sympathies to your family

    • Kenneth and Bonnie

      Thank you for thinking about Mike and his mental problems. We got nearly $600. dollars in cash and checks which will be sent to Special Olympics in Mike’s honor.

  11. My cousin Michael will always hold a special place in my heart! When he would visit us, his laughter was so contagious and he always had a wonderful smile. I will see you one day in heaven Michael.

    Uncle Kenny and Aunt Bonnie, I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful son. May God be with you and the family.

  12. Jessica Guggisberg

    To the family of Mike. My deepest sympathies. He was a wonderful man. I enjoyed working with him. His laughter was so contagious.

  13. My deepest sympathy to the Johnson family for your loss of Mike.

  14. I just read in the local paper today of Michael’s passing and wanted to let you know how very sad I was to hear of it. I do not know if you remember me but I used to work for Scott County in the Developmental Disabilities Unit and my daughter, Jessica, had the privilege of being cared for by Miss Bonnie at the Cookie Jar. Our unit provided services to Mike for a long time and I know that he was one of Tom Kaletka’s favorite people to work with. Mike’s obituary was beautifully written and really captured the very best parts of him. I am so sorry for your loss and for the loss of this very special and wonderful human being.

  15. Our condolences to you and your family at this time. May God be with you and your family.

  16. Kenneth and Bonnie

    Thank you for thinking about Mike and special needs.

  17. Ken and Bonnie, I have fond memories of you and Mike as far back as Friendship meeting at Westwood Elementary School. Such a loving and faithful family. I pray for God’s peace for both of you.

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