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JOHNSON, Philip L. Age 68, of Wellesley and Chatham, MA, passed away on Monday, July 4th at home. Phil is survived by his wife of 43 years, Joanne, his daughter Heather, her husband J.P. Magnan, their children Campbell and Reed, his son Gregory Johnson, his wife Lauren, and their children Mckenna and Mari. Phil is also survived by his mother Patricia Johnson and his sister Katherine Fellows and her husband Jef Fellows. After growing up in Wellesley and attending Wellesley High School, Phil attended Princeton University, receiving a Bachelors degree with honors in economics, followed by MIT, from which he received a Masters of Science in Management. In between academic degrees Phil worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in their advanced econometrics group, where he developed an enduring interest and skill in Computer Science. Phil's academic work at MIT culminated in a job working at Management Decision Systems (MDS), considered an MIT "spin-off" company. His initial focus was consulting for consumer goods companies, using mathematical models of consumer buying behavior. Following acquisition of MDS by Information Resources, Phil, then as Senior Vice President of Software Development, led the team which designed and built a groundbreaking new software product that permitted average business users to organize and analyze business data themselves – the beginning of a long trend in the industry. Phil's last 19 years in software development allowed him to create data analytics products for the Oracle Corp., based in San Francisco. No matter the field, Phil loved to build – his style was "hands-on" in all settings. He developed expertise in home remodeling and, later on, in boat building. He loved spending time on the Cape, and was an avid kayaker, wind surfer, golfer, and road cyclist. In the winter his recreational focus was skiing – Canon Mountain being his favorite destination in the East. Phil's skiing career spanned more than 50 years and his overall ability remained quite good even when he hit his mid-60's. Toward the end of his 40-year career in analytics and data science, Phil dedicated much of his time volunteering at Boston area nonprofits in need of management assistance. In 2014, Phil capped a successful career in computer software, data science, and analytics. He then spent a brief but happy time in retirement with his wife Joanne before meeting one of his life's biggest challenges, this one a medical challenge. Despite receiving extraordinary support from his family, friends, and medical team, he lost the battle with pancreatic cancer. A family service will be held later this summer. Donations in his name can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network(www.pancan.org) or the Lustgarten Foundation (www.lustgarten.org). For online guestbook, gfdoherty.com. George F. Doherty & Sons Wellesley 781 235 4100
Published in The Boston Globe on July 6, 2016
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