Michael Welch Johnson

September 6, 1947August 28, 2021

Dr. Michael “Mike” W. Johnson, long-time physician and instructor at Harvard University and an active leader in the Scituate Rotary Club, died on August 28, 2021 at his winter home in Sebastopol, California.

Mike was a practicing physician with a passion for travel, music, art, literature, and history. His love for travel was first sparked when his father, Dr. Harald N. Johnson, moved his wife, Frances Maxfield Alexander of Scituate, and their four children to Pune, India to set up the National Virus Lab. Mike remembered a water buffalo cow milked in their back yard, a pet monkey, a snake charmer, a jungle elephant ride, and he could still count to 10 in Hindi. When he was 19, he made his first of many trips to Europe with his brother, John.

Mike graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, received his medical degree at UCSF in ‘73 and spent the rest of his career on the Faculty at Harvard Medical School. Upon retirement, he devoted his life to his friends and extended family. He energized the Scituate Rotary with his passion for service and the Rotary scholarships, Capstone Ministries in Kenya and Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation in Afghanistan. Through the forum of Rotary International Conventions he promoted the peace and conflict documentary films of Boston College filmmaker, John Michalczyk and the documentaries of Beth Murphy, Principle Pictures,

Mike’s roots in Scituate go back to the 17th century with “the Men of Kent.” In the 1800s, Mike’s great-great-great-great grandfather, Irish immigrant Michael Welch settled in Scituate. His son, E. Parker Welch, built many homes on Third Cliff, including the farm house that is now part of the east end of the Scituate County Club. E. Parker and his son, George F. Welch, founded the Welch Company on Front Street. In 1905 George’s daughter, Marion Welch, married the Scituate town doctor, Thomas Branch Alexander. As a wedding gift, George gave them the house on First Parish Road where Mike’s mother, Frances, was born. The house also served as Dr. Alexander’s medical office. Since 2006, Mike has made the house his home, hosting many joyful family reunions there.

Mike’s Christian faith and love for sacred music led him to worship at many churches around the world. He sang in church choirs and attended Bible studies with friends and family wherever he went. He especially loved Christ Lutheran Church in Scituate, Park Street Church in Boston, L’Abri Fellowship in Southborough, Massachusetts and in Switzerland. Mike wintered with family near Santa Rosa, California, where he died after a brief battle with throat cancer. His older sister, Marion preceded him in death in 2010. He is survived by his brother John and his wife Virginia of Redmond, Washington; his sister Susan and her husband Bruce Robison of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Marion’s husband Richard Noble of Sebastopol, California. He is also survived by six nephews and nieces: Eric, David, Kristin, Anne-Marie, Daniel, Linnea; and seven great nieces and nephews, Analia, Karissa, Maxfield, Elanor, Beatrice, Philip, and Samuel. A funeral service will take place on Saturday, October 23 at 11 AM at Christ Lutheran Church, 460 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy, Scituate. Donations in Michael Johnson’s memory may be made to: Scituate Rotary, PO Box 831, Scituate, MA 02066 Memo: Michael Johnson Scholarship Fund

Capstone Ministries in Kenya: A Christian Mission to reunite street children with their families and teach that “The word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword.” Heb. 4:12

Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation in Afghanistan: Empowering Afghan Girls through Education


  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, October 23, 2021


Michael Welch Johnson

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Joan Powers

October 25, 2021

A special man. When he was president of ScituAte Rotary he had me join rotary. We use to go together to the meetings. Miss him.
Love & Prayer,

Robert Schipul

October 8, 2021

Michael Johnson was so down to earth and yet so connected around the world.. It was always a joy to be in his company. In Rotary we strive to help make a difference in the world and Mike understood what that meant for him. He is missed.
Pastor Robert Schipul, EM
Christ Lutheran Church
Scituate, MA.

Fred Parker

October 7, 2021

I was very sorry to hear about Mike. I had many happy times visiting with Mike & his family. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends,

Susan Heller

September 29, 2021

Mike was a good friend, and a special person who touched many peoples lives! He enjoyed good concerts and art museums, he was always loved to have friends join him, to go to Tanglewood, Symphony Hall, or take in an art exhibit at MFA.
My husband and I will miss him, but will remember the great memories we shared with him always.