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Russell E. (Bud) Johnson, Jr.

October 11, 1944 ~ February 6, 2018 (age 73)

Russell E. Johnson Jr.


A kind and gentle soul has departed this earth.  Russell E. Johnson Jr., (known as Bud) of Heath, and former longtime resident of Shelburne Falls, passed away on Tues., Feb. 6, 2018 at the age of 73 following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's Disease.  He was born on Oct. 11, 1944 in Gardner, MA to Marian (Pierce) and Russell E. Johnson Sr.  Bud grew up in Westminster, MA and was a graduate of the class of 1962 at MT Greylock High School. In 1966 he earned a Bachelor of Arts in education, from North Adams State.
Bud married his college sweetheart, Bette (MacLeod) on Aug. 21, 1966 in Sudbury, MA.  He was a devoted husband and outstanding father to his two children and was fondly known as Buddy to his 4 grandchildren.

He was a social studies teacher in the Mohawk School District for 40 years, as well as coaching varsity baseball and junior high football.  One of his proudest accomplishments was coaching his Varsity baseball team to a western Mass. Championship in 1977. He led his junior high football team to many undefeated seasons. He touched the lives of countless students and athletes during his tenure. It was one of his great joys to bump into his former students and players and hear about their lives and relive the good ole days.

He was a passionate outdoorsman, enjoying hunting, fishing, hiking, golfing, and camping by the seashore.

Bud and Bette travelled extensively in their retirement. They visited Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean via cruiseship lines. They explored the United States and Canada from coast to coast and everything in between.

Bud will be missed by his wife of 51 years, Bette; son Matthew Johnson and his wife, Jennifer (Brown) and their children Colton and Tess; daughter Jennifer Heilman and her husband, Jason Heilman and their children Areia and Owen; step mother, Ruth Johnson; sister Kathy Sprague and her husband Kevin Sprague; sister in law Priscilla Dalamangas and her husband Leo Dalamangas; as well as his nephew and nieces. 

Calling hours will be held on Sunday, Feb., 11th from 4-6 p.m. at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home in Shelburne Falls. The funeral will be held on Monday, Feb., 12th at 11:00 a.m. at the Trinity Church in Shelburne Falls followed by burial at the Arms Cemetery in Shelburne Falls. In lieu of flowers please consider making donations in Bud’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association at


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