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1947 - 2016
JOHNSON, Russell Harvey Was born to Samuel and Martha Johnson, eight minutes behind his twin brother Rick, in Brooklyn, NY, on September 8th, 1947. He had an older brother Kerry who he admired and a younger sister Cindy who he adored. The family grew up on Long Island and Russ attended college at SUNY Plattsburgh, where he met Mary Lynne Jennings, who would go on to be his wife for 43 years. He got his master's degree at Oregon State and then his PhD at The University of Michigan. He was a prideful alum of the maize and blue. In 1981 in Massachusetts he and Mary Lynne had their first child, Elizabeth, and in 1983 a son, Ben. He worked as the dean of New England College and then for Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq Computers, and Fidelity Investments. He loved many many things, among them -- Nathan's Hot Dogs, the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was a kid, history, politics, the stock market, Luther Vandross, skiing, soccer, lacrosse, a good steak and beer, a good scotch, travel, the beach and the ocean, the Red Sox, the Patriots, and of course his Wolverines. He had been diagnosed with leukemia thirteen years ago and had lived with it valiantly, never losing his resolve. He now watches over and will forever be with his wife, children, siblings, and all the other people who love him and who he loves. Instead of flowers, he requested donations to be made in his name to Heifer International. There will be a celebration of his life this summer at his favorite golf course in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. To send the Johnson family a message of condolence, please visit

Published in The Boston Globe on Jan. 31, 2016
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