Melissa “Mel” Dawn Johnson, age 41, of Richmond, Indiana, died Monday, July 18, 2022, at IU Health University Hospital surrounded by her family.

Born March 27, 1981, in Franklin, Indiana, a real-life “Wonder Woman”, to Michael and Sally Roe Liffick, Mel had lived in Richmond for 23 years. She was a 1999 graduate of Whiteland Community High School in Whiteland, Indiana, and she received her bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in education from Earlham College. Mel was a former teacher at Winchester Community High School, and the head women’s basketball coach and physical education instructor at Earlham College. Mel was a member of LifeSpring Church and the American Basketball Coaches Association. She enjoyed running, hiking, basketball, coaching, teaching, and spoiling her cats.

Survivors include her husband, Nick Johnson to whom she was married on June 25, 2005; children, Jayden and Jacob; parents; sister, Megan (John) Day of Indianapolis, Indiana; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Nathan and Melanie Johnson of Cincinnati, Ohio; sisters-in-law, Renee (Neal) Wattley of Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Kyra (David) Gonzalez of San Tan Valley, Arizona; and many family members and friends.


She was preceded in death by one niece, Alaina Day.

Visitation for Melissa will be from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, July 25, 2022, at LifeSpring Church North, 5600 US Highway 27 North, Richmond, Indiana 47374. Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at LifeSpring Church North, with Pastor Steve Bray officiating. Guests are encouraged to wear orange in honor of Melissa. Burial will be in Earlham Cemetery.

A celebration of life will be held at Earlham College at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Donate Life Indiana, 3760 Guion Road, Indianapolis, IN 46222.

Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at