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Frederick Johnson

MADISON- Frederick Johnson, age 89, of Madison, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. 

He was born on Sept. 26, 1927, in Madison, to Mary (Vanek) and Nelson Johnson.

A lifelong member of the “Cantwell Court Association,” he lived in Madison for nearly all of his life, attending Marquette Elementary. His father died when Fred was very young, so he and his mother went to stay with family in Prairie du Chien, where Fred attended high school and befriended the Bittner family, whom he considered a second family. The Bittners were musicians, and taught Fred to love music, which he did throughout his life.

After being drafted and spending two years in the military stationed in Asbury Park, N.J., Fred studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the GI Bill. He loved history, poetry, and music, and worked at the Memorial Union’s Rathskeller, organizing jazz concerts. He was devoted to the Catholic Church. Since infant mortality was high, Fred was baptized as a newborn at St. Bernard Church in Atwood, where he remained an active member of the parish.

After retiring from almost 30 years at the United States Post Office, he served as a Eucharistic Minister at his church and volunteered as a hospital chaplain. Fred was active in growing the Calix Society, an organization that works with Alcoholics Anonymous to provide a Catholic faith spiritual framework for those recovering from alcohol addiction.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2450 Atwood Ave., Madison, at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, with Fr. Michael Radowicz presiding.  Burial will take place at Forest Hill Cemetery at a later date.  Gunderson West Funeral & Cremation Care 7435 University Ave. (608) 831-6761


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