Denise Johnson (Losey)
Denise R. Johnson, 66 of Kansas City, MO, passed away April 28 at Saint Luke’s Hospice House. Denise was born Oct 23, 1951, in Independence Mo. She graduated from Raytown High School. That summer after graduation, she took a school-guided trip to Europe with 15 students. Marveling at the experience, she could not believe a “girl from the Midwest” could be where she was. Even though she would go on throughout her life travel to many countries of the world, she would often mention how impressed and proud she felt taking such a first adventurous leap. Proud that she bought gifts for her family on $50, she described the trip as the movie, “If it is Tuesday It Must be Belgium.” Denise was an accomplished and recognized businesswoman and passionate leader in the Kansas City Human Resources community. She began her career as executive secretary for Mobile Oil Credit Corp. and then Osteopathic University. At National Fidelity Life Insurance, her passion for Human Resource Management grew, as she moved on to these responsibilities as Personnel Representative, Asst. Personnel Director at Bartlett & Company Grain, Director of Personnel at Morris Larson Law Firm, returning as Director of Human Resources at National Fidelity Life Insurance, and Vice President of Human Resources for American Capital Companies Shareholder Services, Inc. She retired in 2000 as Vice President of Human Resources and Training from Van Kampen Investor Services, where she helped lead her organization to several coveted Missouri Quality Awards, and an impressive Malcolm Baldridge Award site visit. Even after she retired, she continued mentoring other HR professionals and assisting various organizations as a Human Resources Consultant until 2015. Denise was recognized as the 1999 Contributor of the Year by Human Resource Management Association of Greater Kansas City (HRMA-KC – now SHRM-KC); the 1999 Business Coordinator of the Year-INROADS Kansas City; and the 2001 Volunteer of the Year-HRMA-KC (now SHRM-KC). Denise was a member of Board of Directors of the HRMA-KC; a frequent examiner and then coordinator for HRMA’s Paragon Award; a member of the Board of Directors, INROADS, Kansas City; an Instructor at University of Missouri’s Kansas City Heartland Labor and Employment Institute; a committee member on the Good Samaritan Project’s Night of 100 Stars; and a member of the Board of Directors for the AIDs Council. Her legacy will live on by the professional example she set and the many people she trained in Human Resource best practices. Denise married Fred Johnson May 1, 1976. They lived in Independence before moving to Kansas City in 1978 to be closer to their work and weekend entertainment. Denise quickly caught Fred’s urge to travel. They logged some 119 trips together, from 3-4-day weekend trips to Chicago/New York, to month-long trips to Italy and southern Africa. This count does not include many fair weather weekends spent at their beloved Lake of the Ozark cabin. A vacation day from work was never spent at home! Denise loved her 2 cats of 20 years. Their veterinarian claimed these were among the most cared-for cats of all her clients. She is survived by her loving husband of 42 years; her sister Donna Lober; and a host of devoted friends. Denise will be honored by a private event.