Fred Douglas Johnson, Jr. was born on January 21, 1934 in Greenville, SC to Fred D. Johnson, Sr. and Loree E. (Hill) Johnson. Fred graduated from Sterling High School where he was a good student and served as the basketball team manager. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force for four years where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant in Ground Radio Communications. He served in Texas, Mississippi, California, Tripoli and Libya in North Africa. He was Honorably Discharged in 1956.
Fred returned to the United States and attended Howard University in Washington, DC. He was elected President of The Business Club and was listed in Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges in 1959-1960. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and graduated with honors in 1960.
After graduating from Howard University, he was hired as a Management Trainee at the F and R Lazarus Company in Columbus, Ohio. He was the first Howard University graduate to work for the company. Following his tenure at Lazarus, Fred was employed at North American Rockwell Corporation in Columbus where he was responsible for selling parts to the United States Navy. Fred accepted a position at AT&T/Bell Labs where he held a number of administrative management positions with Western Electric Network Systems in Ohio and Bell Labs in Ohio, New Jersey and Illinois. Fred retired from AT&T/Bell Labs after a 27-year career.
Fred was united in marriage with Esther Georgia Stratton on June 25, 1961 in Washington, DC. In May 1966 they became parents of a son, Gerald, who resides in San Francisco, CA. Esther passed away in August 1993. Fred and Esther were Confirmed at St. Philip Episcopal Church in 1963 with the first class in the new church building at 166 Woodland Avenue. Fred has been an active member of St. Philip, having served as Senior Warden as well as a Vestry Member. He also served on Every Member Canvas, Boy Scout Advisor, President of the Episcopal Church Men, member of the St. Philip Foundation, Capital Campaign Fund, Counter’s Team and The SALT Group. Fred has volunteered at the St. Philip Food Pantry since 1994 and served as Director since December 2003. Under his leadership the Food Pantry has expanded its services to the community and is one of the largest pantries in Columbus under The Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
Fred's hobbies included travel and photography. He traveled to many countries throughout the world including Kenya, Morocco, Southeast Asia, Bali, Solomon Islands, Cambodia, India, China, Chile, Argentine and Ethiopia. Fred has won several awards for his photographs at the Ohio State Fair, The Gallery of Fine Arts in Columbus, OH and many other venues. A collection of Fred's work titled "Reflections: Politics and Civil Rights 1960- Present" was displayed for public view in February 2016. Fred also had a broad and expert knowledge of African American history.
Fred is predeceased by his parents, Fred Johnson, Dr and Loree Johnson; wife, Esther; brother, Walter; sister, Barbara. Fred is survived by son, Gerald; Sister-In-Law, Wilma Johnson; Beloved niece, Regina Chatman; cousin; cousin, LaKendra Jones and dear friends, Joyce Myers, Wade and Christine Franklin. He is also survived by other family members and many friends.
Memorial Service Monday, August 26, 2019 at 11am at St. Philip Episcopal Church, 166 Woodland Avenue, Cols, OH 43203. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Philip Episcopal Church Food Pantry. Arrangements by WHITE’S FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES, 867 S. JAMES ROAD, COLS, OH 43227, BENJAMIN F. “BENNY” WHITE, JR, FUNERAL DIRECTOR, (614)947-1123. Tributes may be viewed at whitesfh867.com.
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