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Appreciation for Dean Johnson

Published on 6/9/2021

Thanks to Dean Johnson, who retires this week after several years volunteering as our roving reporter covering Hot Topics and other current events for the LWVOC.


Dean always makes challenging tasks look easy – such as the challenge of writing succinct, flawlessly accurate, and captivating reports on LWVOC forums and debates.


He brought years of experience to the task. Dean graduated with an MA in English from Western Illinois University in 1968. After an early career as a school teacher, he moved to Orlando and landed a job on the Orlando Sentinel, working his way up from copy editor to entertainment and celebrity reporter, then wrote a long-running and much-beloved weekly column. Most people in Central Florida remember him not as Dean Johnson but as “Commander Coconut.”


After he retired, he became an invaluable LWVOC supporter and volunteer. Among his contributions: for many years, he wrote member profiles and reported on Hot Topics and other forums for the newsletter, and he was text editor for the LWVOC’s history book, Warriors for Democracy.

Shown l. to r. : Ann Hellmuth, Andrea Kobrin, Dean Johnson