Former Owner of Construction Digest Passes Away

Johnston, Fred G. Jr.

Fred Gordon Johnston, Jr. age 85, passed away on July 16, 2009, from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was born on August 16, 1923, to Fred and Anna Shea Johnston. Many knew him as Gordon. Fred was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Juanita Jane Nichols of 60 years, his parents, brother, Jerry Johnston, and brother-in-law, William Howard. Fred is survived by his two daughters, Susan Barber (Mark) and Sally White; and son, Fred Johnston III (Monica).

He will be forever loved and missed by his grandchildren, Ashley and Scott, Joseph, Mathew and John Michael and David. His sister, Mary Anne Howard also survives him. He has two surviving brother-in-laws, Donald and Jerry Nichols, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Fred attended Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Michael Church, and St. Luke Catholic Church. Fred was one of the founders of “Jolly 22 Club” which consisted of 22 male friends from Our Lady of Lourdes Grade School. The husbands and wives still get together. His class of 1944 from Cathedral High School has luncheons frequently. He was former secretary of Cathedral High School Alumni Association.

He enrolled in the Navy V-12 program at Notre Dame to receive his officer’s commission in the United States Navy during World War II and served on the USS Oklahoma. After serving over 3 ½ years, he returned to Butler University for his Bachelor of Science Degree.

Fred had an outstanding and distinguished career both in business and in politics. After entering his father’s publishing business, “Construction Digest”, he became president. He started Allied Publications in 1975 and expanded his publishing firm to include trucking and mining across the country. He served for 20 years as President of Associated Construction Publications and was a member of that organization for 50 years.

He served on the City-County Board of Ethics since the start of the board. Fred was also a board member of Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee. Fred served as coach throughout his son’s entire length of playing baseball at Ransburg. He was also his football coach. His greatest enjoyment was spending time with family and friends at endless get-togethers. He was most fulfilled when he was helping people and everyone was having a good time. Fred loved to spend time with his grandchildren. His favorite hobbies were fishing and playing bridge with friends.

On behalf of our dad and grandpa, we cannot express in words how much we all appreciated the outstanding care and compassion he received from everyone at Sunrise in Carmel. He truly loved each and every one of you. You always made him feel very special since the day he arrived at Sunrise. You put a smile on his face especially when you announced it was time for his meals. Also, a very special thank you goes out to the wonderful nurses at St. Vincent Hospital and St. Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital. You made his last days very comfortable and for that, we will always be grateful.

You may be gone, Dad, but you will always remain in our memories and in our hearts forever. We love you, and you will be deeply missed by everyone. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Riley Children’s Foundation, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204-4474.

Fred made and left his mark on the construction industry. Construction Digest and the ACPs continue to publish magazines serving the industry. Many of the contractors who read these publications will remember Fred and want to include him in their thoughts and prayers.

Fred you will be missed and you will remembered by your many industry friends.

Greg Sitek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.