Dr. Merrill C. Johnson, a varsity athlete in three sports at Lafayette High School who later became chief of nuclear medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., died last Sunday in Lake Worth, Fla., from complications of prostate cancer. He was 76.
Dr. Johnson won letters in football, swimming and crew. In 1949, he was a member of an eight-oared team that won the Buffalo City Championship, the U.S. Middle States Championship and the high school gold medal at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.
He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1953 and received his M.D. at the University of Buffalo Medical School in 1956. He entered the Army Medical Corps in 1957 and decided to specialize in the new field of nuclear medicine.
After Dr. Johnson did his residency at Stanford University, the Army assigned him to Korea. Returning from overseas, he received a master's degree in radiation biology from the University of Rochester.
From 1971 to 1978, he headed nuclear medicine department at Walter Reed, then he was successively professor of nuclear medicine at the University of Alabama and head of that specialty at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. He retired from the Army as a colonel.
Survivors include his wife, the former Marie Chamberlain, and three children.
There will be no service.